Snoring is a very common issue that negatively impacts both the person who snores and their sleeping partner (and the worst snorers can even annoy their neighbours!)… can laser treatment for snoring help?
Snoring is the sound caused by vibrating soft tissues in the mouth and throat during breathing while one is asleep. It can be very disruptive to sleep and often leads to exhaustion, difficulty concentrating, mood issues, and stress. It can also signify a bigger health issue, as well as potentially contributing to everything from poor school and work performance to social and relationship issues, compromised workplace and road safety, and chronic health conditions including obesity, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and some cancers.
If you or your partner snores, you need simple, effective solutions to stop (or at least minimise) snoring.
Following consultation with a doctor, some moderate and severe snorers may even be recommended to undergo surgery to help them stop snoring. This can be an extreme solution.
Laser treatment for snoring is a safe, non-invasive approach and an effective alternative to undergoing surgery. For many snorers, it may offer a lasting, effective solution to their problem.
What is Laser Treatment for Snoring?
These treatments use a laser or radiofrequency device to modify the soft tissues in the mouth and back of the throat (oropharynx) that vibrate to cause snoring.
It works by a process called neocollagenesis. The laser device targets the loose or floppy tissues of the base of the tongue, soft palate, uvula and back of the throat with a carefully controlled application of heat. This stimulates the collagen fibres within the deeper tissues and triggers them to form stronger collagen. It ultimately shrinks the tissues and restores elasticity and strength, tightening and reducing overall tissue volume.
How does this stop snoring? Reducing and tightening the oropharyngeal tissues helps to prevent them from vibrating and obstructing the airway, enabling clearer, easier breathing.
Laser treatment for snoring is carried out in a clinic. There is no need to go to a hospital, no need for anaesthetic, and it has no downtime. Recovery is complete within a few days.
Laser Treatment versus Snoring Surgery
Snoring laser treatment is non-invasive. It is different from minimally invasive or surgical procedures for snoring that utilise laser devices.
Invasive surgery for snoring may require removal of the tonsils/adenoids, removal of the uvula, palate splinting, procedures to remove excess tongue tissue, or nasal surgeries like sinus scraping and deviated septum correction. These are all significantly major procedures that are now laser-assisted, using laser technology to make incisions in preference to scalpels. They are all carried out under general anaesthetic and in a hospital. Recovery times and discomfort for these surgeries are also significant.
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty is a minimally invasive surgery that uses a laser device to remove very small amounts of tissue from the uvula and soft palate. It is carried out using a local anaesthetic. While it can be effective, it is not always a permanent solution and it can be quite painful, with recovery taking up to two weeks. Like any surgery, it also has some risks, including infection, scar tissue formation, ongoing globus (the sensation of a lump in the throat) and, rarely, changes to speech.
Laser treatment for snoring is non-invasive, non-surgical, and is much safer and more comfortable.
How Does Laser Treatment Compare with Other Snoring Interventions?
Snoring laser treatment has several advantages over surgery for snoring:
- Safe and non-invasive
- Requires no hospital admissionor anaesthesia
- No downtime
- No needles or injections
- No bleeding or infection risk
- Is quick and highly effective
- Minimal discomfort
- Fast recovery
- Permanent improvement in oropharyngeal snoring
- Reduces long-term health risks associated with chronic snoring
- Suitable for people who experience obstructive sleep apnoea
- Medicare and private health fund rebates may be available
- Improvement in snoring within a week for most people
You do need to understand that results from snoring laser treatments can be variable – some people will experience better outcomes than others. There are also some possible side effects when compared with conservative stop-snoring solutions (such as making lifestyle modifications, using snoring mouth guards or nasal strips, CPAP for sleep apnoea, etc). The main side effect of snoring laser treatment is a dry or slightly sore throat for a day or two after the procedure. Temporary throat swelling may rarely occur.
Most people will need around three treatments, spaced apart, to achieve the best results. Some may also require an ongoing maintenance treatment every six or twelve months for best outcomes.
On average, snoring laser treatment usually improves snoring by around 75%. It should be considered not as a cure for snoring but as an effective technique to manage the issue. Results vary depending on one’s individual anatomy and treatment response.
Should I Consider Snoring Laser Treatment?
Snoring laser treatment should be considered when conservative efforts to stop snoring have failed, or if snoring is very severe.
Conservative approaches to minimise snoring include:
- Exercising regularly
- Maintaining a healthy body weight
- Moderating alcohol consumption, especially at night
- Not eating a large nighttime meal or within 3 hours of bedtime
- Quit smoking and vaping
- Not using illicit drugs
- Avoiding sedative medications
- Treating allergies and chronic sinus/nasal issues
- Raising the head of the bedand sleeping on your side
- Using a device like ApneaRx
If you suspect you have obstructive sleep apnoea, it is very important to promptly see your doctor for proper assessment and treatment strategies.
Laser treatments for snoring work much better when they are combined with appropriate lifestyle changes, sleep position alteration, and using the right anti-snoring device to maximise results.
Reduce Snoring & Sleep Apnea Easily and Cost-Effectively with ApneaRx
Are you looking for a simple, cost-effective solution to snoring that works?
ApneaRx is an easy and budget-friendly way to conservatively and affordably address snoring that arises from mouth breathing. The New Zealand brand of a world-class, patented mandibular advancement device, ApneaRx is worn in the mouth during sleep to gently move the lower jaw slightly forward, helping to open the airways and reduce snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Even if you have undergone (or intend to undergo) laser snoring treatment or any other surgery to help with snoring, using ApneaRx can enhance and maximise your results.
Say goodbye to snoring and hello to much deeper, healthier sleep with ApneaRx.