Every fourth adult snores, men snore more frequently than women, and snoring increases with age. Snoring is influenced by various factors. Noise itself comes from vibration of tissue in the throat area, with the soft palate and uvula playing key roles.
In terms of health, snoring as such is often harmless. However, those who snore frequently suffer from high blood pressure and heart disease. The increased resistance in the upper airways not only leads to the snoring noise itself, but if blockage results, it can lead to sleep apnoe, with resulting consequences.
What causes snoring, such as obstructed nasal breathing, should be treated. As a rule, patients are referred by their house physician to a specialist who examines the upper airways. In some cases, further examinations, which may include endoscopies, X-rays, nocturnal oxygen measurement, or examination at a sleep laboratory, may be called for.
An individualized, careful examination using patient reports about their condition provides the material needed for assessing an appropriate treatment method.
Laser treatment (called laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty), prevents the soft palate and uvula from vibrating. Removal of excess tissue leads to some scarring and hence a degree of soft tissue stiffening in this area. Treatment is carried out on an outpatient basis and under local anesthetic; the procedure takes from 30 to 45 minutes. We will be happy to inform you of the potential risks involved. Should the relief provided be insufficient, this treatment can be repeated in 6 to 8 weeks.
Using a probe, radiofrequency energy is applied to the soft palate. This creates a small wound within the soft palate, thereby scarring it – and stabilizing the tissue. Vibration in this area is thereby reducing, thus reducing snoring noise. Treatment is carried out on an outpatient basis under local anesthetic. We will be happy to inform you about the possible risks involved. Should the relief provided by insufficient, this treatment can be repeated in 6 to 8 weeks.
Throat and pharynx