Treatment for Snoring
Finally a Cure for Snoring
How common is snoring?
One out of every four people is a habitual snorer. The problem is more frequent in males and the overweight, and worsens with age.
What are the existing treatments for snoring?
Snoring “cures” vary widely, ranging from sewing a tennis ball into the snorer’s pajama back to electric shock mechanisms that give the snorer an unpleasant jolt. Most of these remedies and devices are based upon some sort of sleep behavior modification, with the presumption that a person can be trained or conditioned not to snore. Unfortunately, the snorer has no control over snoring whatsoever, and if these devises do work, it is probably because the keep the snorer awake.
What causes snoring?
Snoring is often related to physical obstructive breathing during sleep, when the muscles of the palate, the uvula, and sometimes the tonsils relax and act as vibrating noise-makers when the air of breathing moves across them. Excessive bulkiness of tissue in the back of the throat as it narrows into the airway can also contribute to snoring, as can a long palate and/or uvula.
Should I worry if I snore?
Socially, snoring is disruptive to family life, causing other family members sleepless nights and often resentfulness. Snorers become unwelcome roommates on vacations or business trips. Also, snoring actually disturbs the sleep patterns of the snorer, making restful sleep difficult. Finally, snoring can be an indicator of obstructive sleep apnea – a serious medical problem.
The LAUP Phenomena
Laser-Assisted Uvula-Palatoplasty (LAUP) is a treatment for snoring. The laser removes tissue so gently and cleanly that patients can be treated in the physician’s office using only local anesthesia. LAUP has quickly become popular with both physicians and patients in the
How is the laser used to treat snoring?
Laser-Assisted Uvula-Palatoplasty (LAUP) is performed right in the doctor’s office to treat snoring. Patients sit upright and fully awake in a comfortable chair – much like a visit to the dentist. Local anesthesia is applied, and then the SwiftLaser is used to shorten the palate and to trim and reshape the uvula. Each LAUP session takes about ten minutes. Additional sessions can be carried out if necessary four weeks later.
What are the advantages of SwiftLaser treatment?
The SwiftLaser uses advanced char-free technology to minimize pain and bleeding during the LAUP procedure. Patients resume normal activity after each session and may experience a sore throat requiring pain medication. Significant improvement usually occurs after the first session. While the cure rate is 85-95%, almost everyone reports some reduction in their snoring after LAUP treatment.
How do I know if SwiftLaser treatment is right for me?
The initial consultation with your doctor will include an examination to determine whether laser treatment for snoring is indicated. Sometimes a sleep study (polysomnogram) will be ordered.
Will insurance cover the cost of treatment?
Most insurance companies are very strict about reimbursement for snoring surgery. They rarely pay for this procedure. Dr. Newman will tell you if he thinks there are extenuating circumstances which may influence their decision.
What will the post-operative course be like?
Patient response to laser treatment is variable. Some patients require analgesics (pain killers) for a few weeks, others much less. We also suggest taking an antibiotic after the procedure, to decrease the chance of infection. We schedule a postoperative visit one month following the LAUP procedure. At that time we determine whether a second stage is needed.
Are there any complications of LAUP?
Complications are infrequent. Possible complications include but are not limited to bleeding and infection. Very rarely nasal regurgitation or increased nasal voice quality can occur.
Please call Richard Newman, MD, at (860) 493-1950 if you have any additional questions.