How is Snoring Treated?
An examination will reveal if the snoring is caused by nasal allergy, infection, deformity, or tonsils and adenoids.
Snoring that becomes nuisance to sleeping partner may require treatment. Initially general measures like reducing weight, quitting smoking, avoiding alcohol and sleeping on one side should be tried. If this fails the person can opt for non-surgical or surgical options.
Non-surgical treatment options for snoring -
- Dental devices- Snoring may be reduced by certain dental devices which bring the jaw forward. These devices are recommended for individuals with primary snoring or mild obstructive sleep apnea and may improve snoring in 70-90% of cases.
- Nasal CPAP- The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a mask that delivers air pressure into the throat to prevent airway narrowing while breathing in and out.
Surgical treatment options for snoring -
There are several operations that can be done to reduce or eliminate snoring. Surgical treatment of snoring aims to reduce the obstruction or narrowing in the anatomic area that is causing the snoring.
Nasal surgery options include -
- Radio-frequency energy- It can be used to shrink the turbinates’ by creating scar tissue in them, resulting in a more open nasal passage.
- Correction of the deviated nasal septum.
- Surgical excision of nasal polyps to reduce nasal obstruction, which may improve snoring.
Oral surgery options include -
- Uvulectomy - Removal of the uvula.
- Laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) - It involves trimming the palate with the help of a laser.
- Radio-frequency ablation (RFA) of the palate- radiofrequency energy and heat (between 77°C-85°C) is applied to the soft tissue at the back of the throat (soft palate and uvula) causing scarring of the tissue beneath the skin, which after healing results in stiffening of the treated area and therefore vibrates less.
- Somnoplasty - It is a unique surgical method for reducing habitual snoring by removing tissues of the uvula (the pendent fleshy lobe in the middle of the posterior border of the soft palate) and soft palate (the fold at the back of the hard palate that partially separates the mouth and pharynx). Somnoplasty uses very low levels of radio frequency heat energy to create finely controlled localized burn-areas beneath the lining (mucosa) of the soft tissues of the throat. These burn areas are eventually resorbed by the body, shrinking the tissue volume, opening the passageway for air, and thereby reducing symptoms of snoring. Somnoplasty is performed under local anesthesia in an outpatient setting and takes approximately 30 minutes.
- Pillar procedure- Dacron Palate implants are inserted into the soft palate to stiffen the palate like scar tissue after RFA treatments.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP), tonsillectomy, and adenoidectomy are surgical procedures that are used to increase the size of the airway by surgically removing tissues or correcting abnormalities.