American scientists say they have developed a cheap, pain-free injection to stop people snoring. Snoring occurs when airflow vibrates across the soft palate tissue which becomes relaxed during sleep.
The "snoreplasty" procedure involves injecting a chemical called tetradecyl sulphate into the fleshy soft palate at the back of the throat. The snoreplasty technique, detailed in the New Scientist magazine, destroys some of these tissues to form scar tissue which subsequently stiffens the soft palate to reduce vibration and can reduce the loudness of snoring from 11 decibels to 2 decibels.
In the past severe snorers have undergone an operation whereby portions of the soft palate are cut away.But trimming the palate can cause irreparable damage and there have been at least seven deaths in America following the procedure.
Professor Douglas, who is based at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, said: "This latest technique is one method of stiffening the palate and there is some logic to that.