How is Snoring Treated?
If your physician determines that you do not have a significant degree of sleep apnea, a variety of treatment options for snoring may be discussed. Non-surgical methods of treating snoring include weight loss, elimination of alcohol and sedatives before bedtime and treatment of nasal congestion. In some cases, an oral appliance designed by a dental sleep specialist may be effective.
Surgical treatment of snoring can take many forms, and is aimed at reducing airway obstruction. Traditional surgeries such as a septoplasty for a deviated septum, or a tonsillectomy for enlarged tonsils may be recommended. Most other procedures specifically designed to treat snoring are designed to reduce vibration of the palate and uvula. These include injection snoreplasty, and the pillar implant procedure, among others.
Injection snoreplasty is a procedure performed in the physician’s office under topical anesthetic. It consists of injecting a chemical into the tissue of the palate just above the uvula and takes about 5-10 minutes to complete. The chemical causes a breakdown in the tissue in this area, which is followed by scarring. The scarring increases the firmness of the soft palate, which leads to decreased vibration and decreased noise of snoring. The site of injection typically feels irregular for about two weeks. It may hurt, as well, but this will generally respond to over-the-counter pain medication. In properly selected individuals, the likelihood of improving snoring is approximately 85%.
Pillar implant procedure
The pillar implant procedure is performed in the physician’s office under local anesthetic. It consists of inserting three to five small Dacron struts under the skin of the soft palate. These struts provide stiffness to the soft palate, reducing vibration. This procedure typically takes about 15 minutes to complete. Pain and discomfort are relatively minimal and can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication. In properly selected individuals, the likelihood of improving snoring is approximately 85%.