Snoring isn’t just annoying – it’s a health disorder. That may sound extreme, but the truth is that if you snore at night, you’re not just at risk of being tired and unproductive after a restless night of sleep. You may also experience serious medical conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure, especially if obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the underlying cause.
Palatal snoring, a phenomenon that occurs when the uvula and soft palate vibrate as air flows in and out, is the culprit. But it doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture in your life.
Would you believe that one pain-free, in-office procedure at your LA ear, nose, and throat doctor is often the key to nighttime quiet? Here are two soft palate snoring treatments that can be completed in a matter of minutes.
What is Injection Snoreplasty?
Injection snoreplasty for treatment of palatal snoring is a minimally invasive snoring treatment. This non-surgical snoring procedure stiffens the soft palate (and uvula) by creating a small area of collagen deposition on the soft palate. As it heals, the injected stiffening agent turns to scar tissue and gently draws the uvula further from the back of the throat. No fluttering, no snoring.
This popular, snoring soft palate treatment boasts a quick recovery period and is repeatable if necessary.
What is Soft Palate Coblation?
Discomfort not your thing? Radiofrequency (RF) treatment of the soft palate (also called a somnoplasty procedure or soft palate coblation), is a soft palate snoring procedure that requires only local anesthesia and can be completed in about 20 minutes.
How it works: Low power, low temperature radiofrequency energy is delivered to the palate through a specially designed needle tip wand that is inserted in the soft palate while it’s numb. The RF wand causes the targeted tissue to heat and coagulate beneath the soft palate mucosal layers. As this tissue heals over the next few weeks, it forms scar tissue that stiffens soft palate tissue that would otherwise cause airway obstruction and/or the sounds of snoring.
Anywhere from 2-4 procedures may be required for optimal results. These are usually spaced about a month apart.
The Dangers of a Limp Soft Palate
A limp soft palate can predispose to, or cause medical issues. In addition to snoring, it’s also linked with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
According to Healthline, “Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder caused by the repetitive collapse of the upper airway during sleep. It is the most common sleep-related breathing disorder. OSA occurs when the muscles supporting the soft tissues in your throat, such as your tongue and soft palate, relax. This causes your airway to narrow or even close, momentarily cutting off your breathing.”
Fail to treat your OSA and you could be staring down a host of worrisome medical issues such as:
- High blood pressure,
- Heart disease
- Chronic kidney disease
- Cognitive and behavioral disorders, including dementia
To know whether your sleep and health are being impacted by OSA, you’ll need to book a consultation with a trained ENT specialist such as Los Angeles-based Dr. Kayem.