Are you snoring in your sleep? This does not really matter if nobody is sleeping around you. However, if you are sleeping with a group of people, some people may get annoyed when you snore. If you have to share a room or sleep near someone during traveling, try to sleep on your side as it may reduce snoring. If you do not believe that you snore, use a voice-activated recorder to see how bad you snore and what it sounds like.
Men tend to snore more than women and the snoring problem gets worse as age increases. However, some people, despite their age and sex, have a higher risk of developing problem snoring than others because of the hereditary size and shape of the uvula, tonsils, soft palate, and other parts of that construct the airway. In some surgical procedures like uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, the patient's uvula, tonsils, and soft palate are removed.
Heavy snoring can be either a social problem or a health problem although it is a social one in most cases. A lot of insurance companies do not cover the surgery cost because it is considered as a cosmetic procedure rather than a medical procedure. Therefore, the patients have to cover the expenses themselves. The surgery expenses can be covered by the insurance companies only if the patient's condition clearly suggests that he needs nasal surgery due to major health concerns.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is an established surgical procedure to widen the airway by removing the soft tissue in the throat. Although it is mainly used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, it is also proven to be effective to reduce snoring. However, it becomes less popular because of the postoperative pain and lengthy recovery time. It also has a high relapse rate as the long term success rate declines significantly within a year.
Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP), developed in the late 1980s by Dr. Yves-Victor Kamami, is an outpatient laser surgical treatment for snoring. In this 30 minute procedure, a carbon dioxide laser is used to make incisions on the uvula under local anesthetic. First, the surgeon will spray lidocaine, a commonly used anesthetic, over the back part of the throat and wait a few moments for it to take effect. The surgeon will then inject more anesthetic into the uvula before making incisions with the carbon dioxide laser. He will make two vertical incisions on the sides of the uvula and one more incision to remove the tip of the uvula. LAUP is normally done as a series of three to five sessions, spaced five to eight weeks apart. In most cases, snoring is eliminated in one session.
After surgery, most patients may suffer some considerable postoperative pain for two weeks. Dryness of the throat may also occur to some people. There is also a worry that sleep apnea may be left undiagnosed because snoring is the common symptom of the disorder. Before going for LAUP, patients must be given the right diagnosis to ensure that he can benefit from this procedure.