Approximately 20 per cent of the population snore at night. When we sleep, the muscles of our soft palate relax and vibrate when we breathe. This happens when breathing through the nose or an open mouth. This relaxed tissue vibrates as air moves back and forth across it, making the snoring noise.
Whilst snoring isn’t harmful to the person who snores, it is can be extremely irritating to others. Some people can snore so loudly that they wake themselves during the night, leading to sleep deprivation and fatigue. Snoring can also place a strain on a partnership, as the partner can be denied a good night’s sleep on a regular basis.
Statistically more men snore than women, with approximately one quarter of males prone to snoring. Snoring may also be a symptom of sleep apnoea. This condition is caused by the blocking of the airway by excess tissue. It is common in people who are overweight or those who have an excessively thick neck. This condition can be dangerous and even deadly, with losing weight one of the best solutions.
Laser can also be an excellent solution to the consequences of severe snoring. It is however also recommended to lose weight and cut down on drinking, as these measures can usually always help reduce the severity of snoring.
Laser treatments for snoring have been available in Australia since the early nineties. It is continuing to receive wider recognition as the method of choice for alleviating chronic snoring.
Snoring is caused by droopiness or swelling of the soft palate and other tissues in your throat and mouth. A laser device can be focused precisely by a sophisticated lens system and delivered via a specially designed snoring handpiece.
The advantages of laser for snoring include easy access via the mouth and precise surface ablation. The laser procedure works in two parts. First, the laser preheats the delicate tissue blocking the airway. Then, a laser light strengthens this tissue. Strengthening these tissues prevents airway obstruction and markedly reduce snoring.
The risks and complications with this type of treatment are rare. They can include the removal of too much tissue or skin, or infection on the surgical site. Naturally, it is important to contact your doctor or surgery to advise of any complications or concerns you may have post-surgery.
Q. How long does it take to recover?
A. Recovery is incredibly fast. Patients are able to return to work and resume normal activity the day after the procedure. Of course, each patient reacts differently to the treatment and recovers differently. Patients are expected to have a sore throat for 12-14 days after the surgery.
Q. Is the treatment painful?
A. Pain medications are prescribed to help alleviate the discomfort. For a few days, patients should be on a full liquid diet. The second week after surgery, a soft food diet is recommended. When you feel ready, you can slowly resume eating regular meals.