Upon consultation, your doctor will most likely advise that you change your lifestyle first in order to improve your sleeping condition before you will be prescribed any medication. The same is true with snoring. In most cases, snoring is a result of a poor lifestyle — eating too much and/or lack of any physical activity. If your condition has not changed even after the lifestyle change, then your doctor might suggest any of the following treatments:
1. Oral Appliances
Oral appliances refer to mouthpieces that help put your tongue in its right position. Some people snore simply because their tongue touches their soft plate in such a way that it obstructs the passage of air through your throat. These oral appliances are attached to the teeth so the best one to perform this treatment is a dental specialist. To maintain the condition of the mouthpiece, patients are advised to visit their dentist once in every six months to one year. The fit of the dental mouthpiece is the key determinant to the effectiveness of this treatment in dealing with snoring. However, the downsides of these oral appliances are: will cause excessive salivation, jaw pain, facial discomforts and dry mouth.
2. Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP
This method is more invasive in the way that it involves the wearing of a pressurized mask which is placed over your nose. You will have to wear this mask the entire time that you are sleeping. The mask has a small pump which sort of forces air into your airway, this way you will not have difficult time breathing and thus, avoid snoring. CPAP (pronounced as SEE-PAP) is also a popular treatment for sleep apnea. However, some people find it too difficult to adjust to CPAP, apart from the mask, the machine itself creates a noise that other find distractive. The machine has a heated humidifier though, to help the patient feel more comfortable.
3. Palatal implants
This is another invasive procedure. Palatal implantation is also known as the Pillar procedure. The treatment involves the insertion of some braided polyester filament strands into the soft palate. The implantation is supposed to stiffen the soft palate and thus avoid too much vibration that results to snoring. Although there are no known complications associated to this procedure, some patients who have undergone it say that the strands come out themselves which can cause irritation.
4. Traditional surgery
The proper medical term for this procedure is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP. The actual name should probably give you an idea why it is simply called the “surgery”. The patient is given anaesthesia depending on the patient’s tolerance. The surgeon then performs the surgery and thereby tightening and trimming excess tissues in the throat. Simply put, your surgeon is giving your throat a “face-lift” or a “throat-lift” if that sounds more believable to you. However, one common risk associated to this operation is excessive bleeding, nasal congestion, pain and possible infection.
5. Laser Surgery
This is a more modern approach as compared to the traditional surgery. Laser surgery is also called laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty or LAUP. Using a small laser beam, your doctor will remove your uvula and shorten your soft palate. By removing the tissues that enlarges the airway along your throat, you doctor will be able to reduce vibration caused by the passage of air. Although this operation is somewhat safe and easy, it is still not recommended to those who suffer from sleep apnea because up until now, no successful sleep apnea treatment has been recorder. Possible side effects would be nasal congestion, bleeding, pain and infection.