Snoring is a condition that is widely prevalent. However, severe snoring that occurs frequently can be more than just an annoyance and caused by a multitude of factors. Breathing maybe obstructed while sleeping due to abnormalities in the throat, jaw, or mouth. Air passageways can be narrowed by excess neck fat, enlarged tongue, or other tissues of the mouth and nasal obstruction or weakened throat muscles that interfere with breathing during sleep. Knowledge of the causes of snoring is crucial to successful treatment.
Treatment for snoring begins with a diagnosis of the condition and assessment of a patient’s snoring with medical devices that detect sleep abnormalities. Once the causes and nature of the patient’s individual case are diagnosed, a treatment plan can be developed to address specific problems.
Treatments for milder cases of snoring include at-home remedies such as nasal strips, which help open the nasal air passageways, decongestant nasal sprays and special pillows that change the sleeper’s position. Lifestyle changes, such as weight loss and quitting smoking, can also make a significant difference. Another option is a mouthpiece worn at night that is customized for each patient to clear up the airways by altering the position of the tongue, jaw, or mouth.
For more severe cases, other treatments may be necessary:
- A CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) Mask utilizes a machine that pumps air into a mask over the nose, mouth, or both, keeping the airways open and improving oxygen intake.
- A minimally invasive surgical procedure called the Pillar Procedure can be a better option for patients who suffer from mild to moderate snoring due to long soft palates. This FDA approved procedure to stop snoring and sleep apnea uses up to six polyester strips (or “pillars”) that are inserted into the soft palate for support. Pillar implants stabilize the plate and improve breathing while reducing snoring. This outpatient procedure uses a local anesthetic and takes about thirty minutes to perform. Recovery after a Pillar Procedure is fast; regular activities can be resumed the same day.
For patients whose conditions are not appropriate for these measures, other surgical options are available.
During a consultation, Dr. David Volpi will diagnose your condition, determine the cause of your condition and recommend a personalized treatment plan for you. Call our office 212-873-6036 to make an appointment.