There are hundreds of “cures” for snoring that have been patented over the years. Listed below are the more traditional means of assisting patients with their snoring problem.
Click here on the Epworth Scale to help determine if your snoring may be a health concern.
Lifestyle changes are the first line of treatment to stop snoring.
- If you are overweight, lose weight
- Exercise to improve muscle tone
- Avoid drinking alcohol and taking sedatives
- Sleep on your side rather than on your back
- Treat causes of nasal congestion such as allergies or colds
- Raise the head of the bed up 4-5 inches
Oral Devices and Appliances - Oral devices or mandibular advancement appliances are intended to reduce snoring by changing the shape of the oral cavity or preventing the tongue from blocking the airway. The overall purpose of the device is to raise the soft palate, push the lower jaw forward, or prevent the tongue from falling backward into the throat. Oral appliances should be properly fitted by a qualified dentist. Patients tend to be non-compliant to their use.
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) - CPAP devices are masks that fit over the nose and mouth that push air under pressure to keep the airway open. There is a low rate of patient compliance, particularly in younger patients. Some patients also experience a sense of claustrophobia with the device.
Pillar Procedure - The Pillar Procedure is a breakthrough treatment for snoring. This minimally invasive Pillar Procedure addresses the anatomical area of concern to help correct the soft palate area where excessive vibration causes snoring. This procedure is performed in the office setting under local anesthesia. Only mild discomfort is noted after the procedure and most patients resume a normal diet and activities immediately.
Injection Snoreplasty - This procedure involves injection of a sclerosing agent called sodium tetradecyl sulfate into the area around the uvula under local anesthesia in an attempt to stop snoring. The stiffening agent causes scar tissue in the soft palate, reducing vibration that causes snoring. The principal disadvantage to this procedure is that it only addresses the tissue at the area surrounding the uvula.
Somnoplasty - This procedure utilizes radiofrequency electrical energy delivered through a needle tip to shrink the tissues in the throat using local anesthesia. The major disadvantage is that multiple procedures are needed for the desired results.
LAUP (laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty) - Under local anesthesia, a laser is utilized to shorten or remove the uvula and shrink the surrounding tissue. The recovery can cause moderate to severe pain for 7-10 days after the procedure. Long term success has been shown to be limited.
UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) - The procedure involves removal of the tonsils and excessive tissues in the back of the throat under general anesthesia. This is the most invasive and complex procedure performed for the treatment of snoring. It may require up to two weeks recovery and is associated with severe pain. The procedure can result in major complications such as bleeding and upper airway obstruction.