Is the Pillar Procedure Recommended for People with Subtle Snoring?
The Pillar Procedure is a minimally invasive procedure that can help prevent snoring and sleep apnea. Candidacy for the procedure is based more on the cause of your snoring rather than how loudly you snore. If you or a loved one snores quietly but regularly, contact the sleep specialists at eos sleep to get an evaluation. You need to understand why you're snoring before you undergo any treatment.
What the Pillar Procedure Involves
The Pillar Procedure helps to prevent snoring and sleep apnea that occurs due to the soft palate or uvula sagging down and touching the back of the throat when you sleep.
If you feel along the roof of your mouth from your teeth back to your throat with your tongue – that's the hard palate – you will feel softer territory. This is usually too far back for you to feel completely, but you should notice that the area behind the back ridge of the hard palate does soften up.
The uvula is the piece of tissue hanging down at the back of the soft palate. When you sleep, the uvula relaxes and sags, often hitting the back of the throat. If air can still get past the blockage, you snore. If air can't get past then you stop breathing, which is a key cause of sleep apnea.
The Pillar Procedure stiffens the soft palate and uvula. A sleep specialist inserts thin synthetic rods into the soft palate. This sounds invasive, but it can be done in your doctor's office with local anesthesia or a mild sedative. As the area heals, the rods make the soft palate less likely to sag down when you sleep.
Pillar Procedure Helps Specific Causes
Here's the catch: The Pillar Procedure won't prevent snoring if the root cause of snoring is not related to the soft palate and uvula. If your snoring and sleep apnea is due to excess weight pushing down on your throat and chest, then the Pillar Procedure will not help that.
It is entirely possible to have more than one cause of snoring and sleep apnea. Therefore, you need to visit a sleep specialist for an evaluation to determine all probable causes. Without pinpointing the cause(s) of your snoring, your snoring will not be treated effectively.
Snoring Volume Isn't Always an Indicator
If you snore very lightly, you might think that it's not serious enough to warrant a medical evaluation. However, snoring volume has to do with how the connecting tissues hit each other when air tries to flow through them. Rather than suffering the consequences of worsening breathing problems, get an evaluation now.
If you wait and let the snoring get worse – and thus let your sleep apnea get – you could suffer health consequences. Untreated apnea can result in:
- Concentration and memory problems
- Increased blood pressure
- Higher risk of stroke and heart attack
- Irritability and relationship troubles
- Sore throat and headache
- Drowsiness in the daytime
All of these symptoms can curtail your quality of life. Get evaluated and treated now, rather than later.
If you're still not sure about whether you could benefit from professional help, take our Berlin Scale quiz to see what your risk is of having sleep apnea along with that snoring.
Don't hesitate to contact us and set up an evaluation with one of eos sleep's specialists. The sooner you get appropriate treatment, the sooner you will be able to rest well.