How To Treat Snoring Without Surgery
Snoring can be a lifelong issue for many people, affecting themselves as well as their partner and family. Not only can snoring be a nuisance in the bedroom, but it can also result in poor sleep which can impact energy levels, health, and productivity at work.
The good news is that today multiple non-surgical treatment avenues exist to alleviate snoring problems. Specific types of procedures can be performed here in the office without surgery as outpatient office procedures, says Kiran Tipirneni, M.D., F.A.C.S., a board-certified otolaryngologist at The Ear, Nose, Throat & Plastic Surgery Associates.
The History Of Snoring Surgery
Before we talk about snoring surgery options, lets take a brief look at the history of snoring surgery in-general.
Did you know that, at one time in history, shock therapy was used to treat snoring? Of course, it didnt work because snoring is involuntary. But it goes to show that humans have been dealing with the problem for probably almost as long as we have existed.
The truth of the matter is that snoring and sleep apnea are both dangerous. Sleep apnea, however, is much more than a nuisance. It is actually a life-threatening medical condition that can put you at an increased risk for many debilitating health problems later on in life.
Until the late 20th century, there really werent any good treatment options for OSA, aside from basic lifestyle changes.
Permanent tracheostomy was one of the first surgical procedures to be used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, but there were a number of reasons for why this was not a desirable procedure to undergo.
During a tracheostomy, an incision is made in the windpipe to help relieve obstructions and to make breathing possible in situations where it would otherwise not be possible.
This procedure is more often used as a temporary means to assist a breathing-impaired patient when the upper respiratory system is compromised but there are some select occasions when it is performed and left in permanently.
But that was still not the end of it.
What Is The Snoring Surgery Procedure
Laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty is a snoring treatment procedure that is performed under local anaesthetic in-clinic. The procedure involves using a laser to remove the edges of the soft palate and uvula to reduce the size and remove excess tissue from the throat. This helps to increase the size of the airways which will aid breathing whilst you are sleeping.
LAUP surgery is a very precise and tissue damage is minimal which makes is a much safer and more comfortable procedure compared to uvulopalatoplasty surgery.
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The Pros And Cons Having Surgery For Snoring
Having surgery to alleviate snoring can have many benefits. If the surgery is successful, youll be able to enjoy many nights of peaceful, uninterrupted sleep.
Since you wont be so sleep deprived, youll have more energy during the day. Your overall health will improve. And your relationship just might improve too.
However, having surgery for snoring does have its potential downsides.
Surgery of any kind can be expensive. And getting surgery to stop snoring might not be covered by your insurance. This means you might have to pay for the surgery out of your own pocket.
With any surgery you risk complications, like infection, or other unpleasant side effects. Most surgeries involve pain of some kind. Its unavoidable. It can be weeks, or even months, before you are truly healed and pain-free after surgery.
And, if there are unforeseen complications, that could make your recovery time even longer.
The biggest downside of getting surgery to alleviate snoring is that it might not work.
For the most part, these surgeries wont eliminate snoring completely. Often, the best you can hope for is that a surgery will make your snoring less frequent and severe. But even thats not guaranteed.
This is largely why having surgery to treat snoring is considered a last resort, something only done when nothing else works or the patients health is at risk.
If your snoring is extremely severe, and no other remedy has worked for you, you might decide the risks are worth it.
What Are The Snoring Surgery Options In Canada
There are quite a few different snoring surgery options available to Canadians. And in this post, we are going to discuss some of the more popular ones. These may not be the only surgical procedures at your disposal but they are most definitely options that Canadians have access to that may warrant further research, to see which might be the right choice for you as you seek to treat your snoring problems.
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What Are The Various Types Of Surgeries For Snoring
There are several surgical options which are available as the ultimate option. There are lots of other steps of treatment which when fails to work, surgery is taken the ultimate weapon to cure or reduce the snoring. The well-known and safe surgery to stop snoring is Septoplasty. The other options are Soft palate surgery, pillar surgery, Somnoplasty, and Coblation. Each surgery has its own target area to stop or correct the tissues for reducing the snoring.
Surgical Snoring Options In Canada
If you live in Canada, but suffer from snoring or obstructive sleep apnea, then you will likely be relieved to learn that there are actually a lot of surgical options at your disposal for treating the problem. Surgical options are not usually the first thing that people think of when it comes to snoring and sleep apnea but they do have their merits.
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Surgical options are generally more permanent, and can sometimes do a lot of good in a very short period of time. Needless to say, a lot of doctors will usually try a different method before recommending surgery as a course of treatment. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, they will likely prescribe CPAP before signing you up for a full-fledged snoring surgery.
Of course, the downside to choosing the surgical route is that you need to go through the procedure. And even if you;do go through it, there is always a chance that it may not work. If it doesnt, then you are not really out much, except for the downtime, of course but procedures are also quite invasive, and that may not appeal to everyone either.
In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the most common surgical snoring options in Canada. Hopefully, the more you learn about these options, the closer you can come to figuring out if one of them might be right for you.
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Option : Maxillomandibular Advancement
Also known as bimaxillary advancement or double-jaw advancement, maxillomandibular advancement is a procedure wherein a surgeon will adjust the jaw in order to enlarge the airway in both the palate and tongue areas. The procedure requires the doctor to move the upper and lower jaws forward. It is most commonly performed on people who have jaw abnormalities that affect sleep, but may also be performed on patients who have had minimal success with other sleep apnea and snoring treatments.
MMA surgery is performed in the operating room using general anesthesia. A surgeon will make small incisions inside the mouth and free the jaw with the use of saws and chisels. The doctor will then set the jaw in its new position and secure it with titanium plates and screws. Those who have obstructive sleep apnea typically require much more complex movement and adjustment of the jaw, which makes side effects and recovery more complicated. The worst part about the MMA procedure is that patients are unable to eat solid foods or chew for up to six weeks post-operation.
What Happens At Your Appointment
The GP will look inside your mouth and nose to check for any problems that might be causing your snoring.
It can help to bring someone with you to your appointment who can describe what your snoring is like, such as a partner.
The GP may refer you to a specialist for treatment or further tests if they’re not sure what the cause is.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Snoring
Snoring sounds range from quiet vibrations or whistles to very loud grumbling, snorting or rumbling. Some people might not realize theyre snoring when they sleep. People who snore may toss and turn at night, have a dry, sore throat when they wake up and feel tired during the day. Lack of sleep can cause headaches, difficulty focusing and moodiness. Besides snoring, some people gasp for air and stop breathing for a few seconds while theyre asleep. These are signs of sleep apnea, a disorder that leads to serious health problems if it isnt treated.
Tonsillectomy Adenoidectomy Or Uvulectomy
Some surgeries for snoring involve removing specific soft tissue to reduce vibration and make the air passage less narrow.
For example, if the tonsils or adenoids are enlarged and blocking your airway while you sleep, you could have a tonsillectomy to remove your tonsils, or an adenoidectomy to remove the adenoids.
A more drastic option might be to remove the uvula.
The uvula is the triangular shaped flap of tissue that dangles at the back of the throat. If this flap of tissue is blocking your airway, it could be responsible for your snoring.
During a uvulectomy, the uvula, or perhaps just part of it, is removed.
Many consider removing the uvula to be a drastic course of action, largely because no-ones exactly sure what the uvula does, and what the affects of losing it might be.
This form of laser surgery is another outpatient procedure.
During a LAUPPP, a laser beam is used to remove the uvula. The soft palate is also shortened. The result is an enlarged airway and reduced vibration.
One of the downsides of choosing LAUPPP is that more than one treatment might be needed to get the desired results.
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Option : Pillar Procedure
The patented Pillar Procedure claims to be one of the fastest, easiest and most effective ways to address chronic snoring. Its also recommended for treating mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. During the Pillar Procedure, the soft palate is stiffened via tiny palatal implants, which reduce the tissue vibrations that cause snoring and the ability of the palate to obstruct the airway.
The Pillar Procedure is preferred by many because it doesnt require the removal or adjustment of any soft tissue. The outpatient surgery takes just one short session and only requires a local anesthetic. Compared with more invasive snoring surgeries, the Pillar method comes with minimal downtime, a short recovery period and fewer side effects. Most patients report only minimal discomfort during the procedure.
The Pillar procedure is a good option for those who are diagnosed with primary snoring, which means they make lots of noise but dont stop breathing, says Dr. Magis-Katz. However, keep in mind that snoring may be a sign of a more serious medical condition. Just because your Zs are now quiet, it doesnt mean youre getting healthy sleep. Some may find that their sleep apnea improves, but this should be confirmed with a post-treatment sleep study.
What Can I Expect After The Operation
Post operative pain can be expected and is managed with a combination of three different painkillers.; It is important to maintain nutrition and hydration with fluids and soft diet. Most discomfort resolves in 7-10 days or so.;;It usually does not stop you from performing routine activities including work that is not too physically demanding.;;Excessive physical exertion is not advised for two weeks.;
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What Matters Most To You
Your personal feelings are just as important as the medical facts. Think about what matters most to you in this decision, and show how you feel about the following statements.
Reasons to have surgery for sleep apnea
Reasons not to have surgery
I’m willing to try surgery to get better.
I want to avoid surgery at all costs.
Septoplasty And Turbinate Reduction
Sometimes, snoring may be a result of a structural deformity in your nose. Deformities in your nose structure may even be the reason behind Obstructive sleep apnea.
When doctors recognize this, they recommend a snoring surgery called or Turbinate Reduction.
In septoplasty, the surgeon will straighten out the bones and tissues at the center of your nose.
Turbinate Reduction involves cutting down the size of the tissue in your nose that cleanses and humidifies the air passing through the nasal passage. Doctors perform this procedure using radiofrequency .
Most surgeons will perform these two surgeries at the same time. The snoring surgeries will open up your nasal airway and allow you to breathe easily and snore less.
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Wear A Nasal Strip Or Dilator
Internal and external nasal dilators are geared toward improving airflow as you sleep. As a result, they may reduce snoring. These small devices are available over-the-counter online and in most drug stores for relatively low prices.
Both types of nasal dilators are small, flexible strips that use tension to open the nasal passages. A nasal strip, or external dilator, sticks to the outside of the nose with adhesive. As it tries to retain its shape, it pulls outward, lifting skin on the nose and opening the nasal passages. An internal nasal dilator operates similarly, but from the inside. Instead of pulling on the outside of the nose, it pushes outward. Studies show that both types of dilators reduce snoring, but internal dilators tend to be more effective.
Personal Stories About Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea
These stories are based on information gathered from health professionals and consumers. They may be helpful as you make important health decisions.
I have been using continuous positive airway pressure to treat my sleep apnea for over a year. Since I travel a lot, CPAP isn’t very convenient for me. Taking my CPAP machine on business trips is too much trouble for me. I talked with my doctor, and we agreed that surgery might be a good option to treat my sleep apnea.
Jorge, age 54
CPAP is doing wonders for my sleep apnea. It really isn’t that much of a bother for me to use. I also read that surgery may only help about half of the time. I am not willing to risk the complications from surgery, so I am going to continue with CPAP.
Dara, age 42
I have been using CPAP. I am tired of being attached to a machine at night while I sleep. My nose is always dry, and my sleep is not improving. I am willing to have surgery to treat my sleep apnea if it can help.
Cal, age 45
Since I have been using CPAP, my sleep apnea symptoms have disappeared. My wife can’t believe the change in my attitude during the day. We talked about my having surgery to treat my sleep apnea so I wouldn’t have to use CPAP anymore. My doctor said that even if I have the surgery, I still might have to use CPAP. The risks and cost of the surgery and the possibility that I might still have to be on CPAP are not worth it.
Gordon, age 50
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How To Stop Snoring
If you or your partner snore regularly or occasionally, you might wonder how to stop snoring. Youre not alone. In adults between 30 and 60 years old, 44% of men and 28% of women snore regularly. Over age 60, around half of all people snore regularly.
Snoring is the sound that results from air passing through your airway when it is partially blocked. Tissues at the top of your airway touch each other and vibrate, making you snore. Virtually all adults snore occasionally.
For most people, snoring is little more than an embarrassment or annoyance. For others, however, snoring can cause problems or indicate an underlying health issue. Different people snore for different reasons. Trying a variety of tips can help you learn how to stop snoring while sleeping and determine if you need to talk to a doctor about your snoring.
Surgery Treatments For Snoring At The London Clinic
Snoring, a form of sleep-disordered breathing, is very common. Approximately 42% of men snore on most nights, and around 4% of the UKs population have a more severe;condition known as sleep apnoea .
Sleep apnoea is when the blockage in your airways causes you to stop breathing for a few seconds, resulting in a fall in oxygen levels in your blood, which wakes you up many times during the night.
The condition;can lead to personality changes, impotence and increased risk of road traffic accidents. Significant decrease in oxygen levels in the body, can also put pressure on the heart, therefore increasing the risk of conditions, such as high blood pressure and heart problems.
The London Clinic offers treatment for simple snorers and sleep apnoea, using the very latest equipment, performed by world-renowned ear, nose and throat surgeons, and a multi-disciplinary team of specialists to help you recover.
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Stop Snoring Surgery What Procedures Are Available
Stop snoring surgery is a last resort treatment for someone who has a snoring problem.; In order to understand why such a drastic measure might be necessary its important that we first understand the underlying cause of the problem.
Snoring is known to be the end result of the vibration happening in the upper airway which includes the throat, mouth and the nose. Due to blockages, turbulence is caused during respiration. While we breathe throughout the day, we only snore at night because our muscle tone is very much reduced when we are sleeping which encourages the collapse of these tissues.
Snoring can basically originate anywhere from the nose down to the vocal chords. Recently, researchers have grown aware of the role that the tongue has in increasing an individuals likelihood of snoring.; The tongue can roll back and cause a physical obstruction in the airway, making a collapsed airway even worse.; In circumstances where the airway is blocked due to a severe physical obstruction often times stop snoring surgery is the only permanent solution.
Snoring is an involuntary activity and it can not be controlled simply by a strong will and a good head on your shoulders. Any one who has ever spent a night snoring knows that often times snoring remedies can be even more bothersome than the snoring itself. The key to dealing with snoring is to treat the problem effectively and with the least amount of nighttime discomfort.