Snoring is the sound of the soft tissue at the back of your throat vibrating as you breathe. Relaxed tissue tends to be softer and more pliable than when you are awake, and therefore you only snore while you’re asleep.
Snoring treatment options at our Melbourne clinic include lasers or radiofrequency devices that tighten and reduce this tissue in the upper palate. Over several anti-snoring treatments, your snoring will be reduced and maybe even gone. We have are anti-snoring solutions.
Snoring can be triggered by the impacts of some medications, alcohol, smoking, illness and nasal growths or obstructions (like polyps). Being overweight can also contribute to snoring.
Laser snoring treatments and anti-snoring solutions
There are several laser snoring treatment devices used to reduce or stop snoring, including the SleepTight laser treatment and Romeo laser snoring treatments.
The SleepTight laser treatment for snoring was featured on A Current Affair, with high profile NRL star Mark Geyer explaining that he had ‘almost immediate results’. The Romeo laser and the SleepTight laser snoring treatment work in the same way to tighten soft palate tissue and stop snoring. At ENRICH Clinic, we prefer to use the Romeo laser.
The negative impacts of snoring
We most often talk about snoring in joking terms, but anyone who’s had to sleep next to a snorer for any period knows just how destructive snoring is to a good night’s sleep. This negative impact applies to the snorer too, since their airway is being obstructed and therefore it’s not just the noise that’s disturbing; it’s the whole snoring process.
Snorers may find themselves increasingly tired, with a restful night’s sleep always a little out of reach. Waking up feeling less than refreshed could be a sign that your sleep is not as deep and rejuvenating as it might be.
Specific causes of snoring in adults and snoring treatments
- Nose anatomy and nasal blockage: When your airways are blocked, you will make a snoring sound. This blockage could be temporary (allergies, infections) or more serious/permanent nostril size, shape or anatomical abnormalities.
- Low tone in the tongue and throat muscles: your mouth and throat are made up partially of muscles, and if these muscles relax too much, they can collapse your airways, resulting in snoring. Muscle relaxation can occur temporarily from alcohol or insomnia medication, and from general tissue laxity as we age.
- Excess throat tissue: If you are overweight, you likely have excess fat around your neck, which can lead to extra pressure on your airways during sleep. Standing upright and lying down are very different things when it comes to gravity. Oversized tonsils or adenoids can also become an issue, though typically only temporarily.
- Loose uvula and soft palate: the soft palate and possibly the uvula (the dangly bit at the back of your throat) can be too soft, narrowing the airway and causing snoring due to contact of the uvula on the throat and soft palate.
Women and snoring
Women who snore are being treated at alarmingly low rates and not because women don’t snore. They do. It’s because women tend to snore more softly than men due to the different size and shape of the neck and neck tissue.
Women’s snoring is typically overlooked and not considered ‘problem’ snoring, but indeed has sometimes very negative consequences. Being tired all the time has far-reaching consequences for a body and mind in anyone.
Men and snoring
Men tend to snore louder and more frequently than women or children due to the size, shape and weight of the neck area. The more tissue that relaxes onto the trachea during sleep, the bigger the snore and the greater the obstruction. This throat and neck relaxation results in greater negative impacts during waking hours.
Children and snoring
Children snoring may sound cute, but it’s almost always a sign of an infection or an airway issue that needs addressing with some urgency. Soft or loud, persistent, regular snoring in children needs to be investigated since it is abnormal.
The tissues around the neck and throat in kids is small and tight, meaning that snoring is coming from unusual causes or tissue formations. Snoring in kids could mean the tonsils or other areas need treatment.
Snoring in children can also be isolated to certain normal events, such as colds and flu, ear infections and sinus issues.
Radiofrequency and laser snoring treatments
We use radiofrequency and laser treatments for snoring, with our SnoreLess program. The aim of the snoring treatments in our SnoreLess program is to reduce the tissue volume while tightening the soft palate. Over the course of a few treatments, this treatment effectively reduces or eliminates snoring.
Who does snoring affect?
Snoring affects over 60 per cent of us but is more common in men than women. Snoring also gets worse as we age, due to tissue laxity.
Nasal obstructions and snoring
The structure and inter-dependencies of the mouth, nose and throat are complex. Our respiratory tract, mouth and facial structures face many demands every day for vital functions: breathing, eating, talking and facial expressions.
Nasal obstructions might include polyps, a deviated septum, chronic sinusitis or nasal congestion. Nasal congestion has been implicated in snoring, causing daytime sleepiness and an increase in snoring.
Nasal obstruction has a negative effect on the sleep cycle since it can elongate the time between REM sleep and increase non-REM sleep. These obstructions alone, however, do not cause sleep apnoea. The size of the tongue may contribute to obstructive sleep apnoea, but other issues include muscle responses of the mouth and jaw and collagen disorders.
Obstructive sleep apnoea
Obstructive sleep apnoea is a more serious condition than just snoring alone whereby a person stops breathing during sleep, then restarts spontaneously. This stop-start leaves us without oxygen for a short period of time, causing a specific reaction in the body to get us breathing again. Sleep apnoea is treated differently to snoring and must be investigated and ruled out.
Laser snoring treatment with the Romeo laser – Melbourne Clinic
The Romeo laser targets the soft palate and uvula, heating this tissue very carefully and precisely to tighten it. This reduces vibrations and thus snoring.
Prior to this treatment, investigations will need to be made into the nature of your snoring, which might include sleep studies to rule out obstructive sleep apnoea.
The Romeo laser treatments for snoring at our Melbourne clinic take about half an hour, with no downtime – return to work immediately after if you wish. That night snoring may be worse, which is normal – soon you will feel the difference after snoring laser surgery since the treatments exert their effect over time to tighten tissue.
You should avoid food and drink for two hours prior to your treatment, and have no cold food or drinks for 48 hours. We also sometimes recommend no exercise the day before and of your snoring laser surgery.
After laser snoring treatments
Your throat might feel dry, scratchy or swollen after your snoring medical treatments. This response is completely normal and will dissipate within 24-48 hours. You may take over-the-counter pain relief if required.
There are rarely any negative impacts or side-effects from our snoring treatments. An example of a problematic outcome would be swelling of the throat which could impact breathing and needs immediate medical attention. Though very rare, any uncontrolled swelling is dangerous when it concerns the throat.
After about a week, snoring starts to improve, with another snoring laser treatment performed a month later. Maintenance treatments may be required annually or bi-annually. Snoring can usually be improved by about 60 per cent, though it must be stressed that this is not a cure for snoring, but a management technique. Each of you has your own nasal and throat structures, so individual results will be somewhat varied.
The research into laser snoring treatments
A pilot study into reducing snoring and sleep apnoea using lasers found that the laser snoring treatments were effective and very well tolerated by patients. Responses were quite variable, but overall the treatment was considered successful.
All patients reported an improvement in sleep quality as well as snoring, with high satisfaction levels reported. All patients reported the treatments were virtually painless.
Another snoring study looked at resolving or managing snoring in 21 people, using three laser treatments. Patients evaluated the average snoring reduction after the first session to be between 30 and 60 per cent and between 50-90 per cent after the second session.
A Polish study found that 74 per cent of patients responded favourably to the snoring treatment, with an average improvement in snoring severity of about 50 per cent. The laser under study was found to be ‘effective, minimally invasive and safe’.
The efficacy of laser snoring treatment options and radiofrequency devices is now well-established, and while the techniques are evolving, we have a good basis for anti-snoring laser treatment that is safe, effective, and best of all, fast and comfortable.
In some cases, our snoring treatment and snoring program won’t be enough, and a snoring operation may be required to alter the nasal passages. Surgery can be an excellent solution, however, is not required in most cases.
Speak to your doctor about your snoring treatment options.
- Excessively relaxed throat muscles
- Large uvula
- Large nostrils and / or adenoids
- Nasal congestion
- Structural problems of the nose – deviated septum or nasal polyps
- Cysts and tumors
- Excessive weight
- Alcohol consumption
We believe the Romeo is by far the most effective of any of the ‘walk in walk out’ laser treatment for snoring available on the market at this time. Other lasers suchas the Fontana, which uses a non contact laser system and only heats from a distance to the target tissue, will not get sufficient tissue heating for best results and therefore in our opinion will not give inadequate benefits.
The snoring treatments we provide using our Romeo laser work very well for most people, though results do vary with individual anatomy. Scientific research into the snoring treatments are very positive, making laser therapy a solid strategy for most snorers.
Yes, there have been a few studies on this particular treatment. One study in particular cites:
- Pain was generally absent during treatments
- No side-effects except a mild sore throat in 1 out of 40 patients
- Eighty-five per cent of patients were ‘very satisfied’
- Five patients reported being ‘fairly satisfied’
- One patient in the study was not satisfied
- Internal anatomical landmarks significantly decreased in size after treatments
- There were significant decreases to the loudness of snoring, waking up during sleep due to snoring, dry mouth on waking and choking
- Dreaming increased significantly
- Seventy-five per cent of patients perceived less tightness in the throat and better breathing post-treatment
- Results were stable at 20 months follow-up in 72 per cent of cases
- Laser treatment was determined to be a valid procedure in reducing the loudness of snoring
Laser treatments for snoring are considered low-risk, and we don’t anticipate any adverse outcomes.
There are risks with every treatment, but we’ve found the most significant risk with our snoring program is that you won’t get the results you are after. However, based on our experience and research, most people are very satisfied.
If you’re looking for a complete cure, you may be amongst the lucky few. What tends to happen more often is we see an improvement in snoring loudness and sleep disruption for the snorer and anyone with whom they sleep.
Most people see a significant improvement after three treatments. There are a small portion of people who don’t benefit quite as much. Inadequate results is not an issue with the treatment as such, but due to individual anatomical differences that cause results to vary between patients.
There is always the risk of burns with lasers; however, we have not found this to be an issue. Our practitioners are highly trained and experienced in the use of our lasers and the treatment for snoring.
- Reduced incidence of snoring
- Quieter snoring
- Healthier sleep
- Less disruption to breathing during sleep
- Less annoyance for others
- Less daytime fatigue
- Wake up feeling good more often
Result Benefits may be decreased with:
- Thick neck
- Excessive alcohol intake or sedative medications
- Deviated Nasal Septum
- Large adenoids
The laser works to tighten the tissue inside the uvula (little dangly thing at the back of the throat) and soft palate (roof of the mouth near the throat). We tighten the collagen fibres using thermal energy (heat) from the laser.
The collagen fibres shrink in the same process that occurs when you cook meat or eggs – the proteins become more tightly packed, making the loose tissue that causes snoring to become firmer, resulting in less vibration of the structures therefore less snoring.
We recommend about three treatments for the best results, so after each treatment, you’ll see an improvement, which increases with each treatment.
Laser snoring treatments are very comfortable, and there is no downtime required for healing. The collagen fibres become tighter immediately, and then collagen production is ramped up over the coming weeks further strengthening the tissue.
Your comfort is our top priority, so while we do have to get into the mouth and uvula to complete the procedure, the laser itself doesn’t hurt.
You will see results develop about a week after treatment and increase across several treatments. We usually complete about three procedures over a few months.
Everyone responds differently to the treatments, with some seeing dramatic results and others seeing some improvement. You’ll notice a difference, however slight, after each treatment, with full results only becoming apparent after you complete the entire course of treatments.
We can work with you to see if further treatments are required. Some of you may experience considerable change after just one treatment.
Every snorer can benefit from these treatments, no matter your age or physicality. While individual results will vary, the tightened uvula and soft palate occur in everyone. Whether this proves enough to eliminate snoring or reduce severity is only apparent after the recommended number of treatments.
It is unclear at this time whether the treatment is suitable for those with obstructive sleep apnoea. Please call us to discuss your individual needs and our doctors will be happy to advise you of your options. There is some evidence that sleep apnoea may improve with treatment; however, individual results do vary.
We recommend an average of three treatments as the initial course, then 6 monthly. With age tissue naturally loosens as collagen production decreases, so annual treatments may be required to maintain results. We perform treatments intermittently to give the body time to produce more collagen and elastin fibres. These fibres increase the strength and decrease the size of the soft palate and uvula, with results appearing within about a week.
Because each or you may require more or fewer treatments.
$625 per rx
Or Pre Pay package $1575.00 for 3 treatments
There is no downtime required. The procedure is a walk-in walk-out treatment with all the work done by your body without pain or significant inflammation. Some people have some minor discomfort post-treatment.
The laser treats the collagen and elastin fibres in the uvula and soft palate. Collagen shrinks with heat energy, immediately tightening tissue and stimulating an ongoing response by fibroblasts. The fibroblasts increase collagen production, so the treatment works over the coming months for further tightening.
Because the procedure doesn’t result in any downtime, any time is an excellent time to seek treatments. It works best if you can schedule the follow-up treatments at the right time, so if you are planning an extended trip away, we can work with you to ensure the correct sequence.
We see the best results when treatments are scheduled within a month or so of each other to maximise tightening.
There are apps you can download that can monitor you during the night and record your noise levels eg: Snore Lab . You can also go to a sleep clinic and have monitoring while you sleep, which can provide a lot of clues as to what happens to you during the night.
No, you can make an appointment anytime to get snoring treatments at ENRICH. Sleep clinics are beneficial for figuring out what happens to you while you sleep, but are not necessary. If you snore, you can get treatments.
Sleep clinics can be valuable as a diagnostic tool for some people, primarily to diagnose obstructive sleep apnoea or other serious sleep disorders. If you are concerned, you can talk to your doctor about it at your consultation and we can offer referrals if necessary. You can also see your GP about a sleep clinic for a referral.
Snoring is a combination of issues compounding during sleep when your tissue relaxes. There are some snoring solutions you can work on before, during and after treatments to maximise results.
- Lose weight if you are overweight to reduce the pressure of lax tissue on the throat during sleep
- Sleep on your side to avoid your tongue blocking airflow
- Sleep on an incline (with pillows)
- Use nasal strips to increase space in the nasal passage
- Use an external nasal dilator to decrease airflow resistance
- Deal with allergies affecting your respiratory tract
- Treat anatomical/structural nasal issues from injury or surgery, or anatomical abnormalities
- Avoid alcohol before bed as it relaxes throat muscles, increasing snoring potential
- Avoid sedating yourself to sleep – while you may need sleep medication, if it is powerful you may need to speak to your doctor about altering the dose or type
- Stop smoking – smoking exacerbates snoring as it affects your respiratory tract (try patches, vaping or nicotine gum if you’re struggling)
- Use an oral appliance to keep airways open during sleep (see a dentist)
- Use a pressurised mask (continuous positive airway pressure machine CPAP)
- Use palatal implants to stiffen the soft palate