If you, or someone you live with snores, you’ll know what a disturbing effect it can have on the enjoyment of a quality night’s sleep! Snorers (or their partners) may feel increasingly tired and unable to obtain restful, deep sleep. If snoring is an issue for you, ENRICH Clinic can help. The Romeo laser we use in treatments is effective and comfortable and can help reduce your snoring. Required treatments range from 1 – 3, depending on the patient.
Snoring is the sound of the soft tissue the back of your throat vibrating as you breathe whilst you are still asleep. Whilst we know the impact it can have a good night’s sleep, did you know that snoring might be a sign of more serious health issues? Here, we discuss the top four reasons that can cause snoring and outline our clinic’s approach to treatment.
What causes snoring?
Snoring can be the result of a combination of different physical factors.
1. The anatomy of the mouth and nasal airways
The anatomy of the mouth and nasal airways can contribute to snoring. If the airways are blocked, a snoring sound will occur. The snoring can be temporary, and perhaps due to allergies or infection (think being sick with a cold and struggling to breath freely overnight!), or more permanent and serious due to the shape of the nostrils and the shape and anatomy of the mouth and airways
2. Soft tissue
If the soft palate and uvula are lacking in tone, thus narrowing the airway, snoring can occur due to the contact of the uvula on the throat and soft palate.
3. Low muscle tone in the tongue and throat muscles
The mouth and throat are comprised of muscles, and if these muscles are too relaxed, they can collapse and loosen in the airways, resulting in snoring. Muscle relaxation can occur temporarily from alcohol consumption or the use of some medications (you might find you snore after falling asleep after a few too many!), as well as from general muscle laxity as we age.
4. Being overweight
If you are overweight, it is likely that you may have excess fat around the neck. This can potentially lead to extra pressure on the airways when sleeping. In addition, oversized tonsils and adenoids can also become an issue, but this is usually only temporary.
Others factors include:
- Alcohol or sedative consumption
- Allergies or a cold with nasal congestion
- Sleep position
- Natural aging processes
- Decline in collagen
Do I have sleep apnoea?
It’s important to note that not all snoring is the result of sleep apnoea. Sleep apnoea occurs when the walls of the throat close together during sleep, blocking off the upper airway. Breathing stops for a period of time (generally between ten seconds and up to one minute) until the brain registers the lack of breathing or a drop in oxygen levels and sends a small wake up call to the body. Oftentimes, the person suffering from sleep apnoea doesn’t even realise they have woken up. The pattern can repeat itself hundreds of times each night, causing fragmented and disrupted sleep. This can result in excessive daytime sleepiness, poor daytime concentration and overall fatigue. Approximately five percent of Australians suffer from this sleep disorder, with around on in four men over the age of thirty years affected.
Sleep apnoea is treated differently to snoring, and must be investigated and ruled out by the treating doctor.
Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo – Snoring treatments at ENRICH Clinic
The Romeo procedure delivers laser to the soft palate which causes a stimulation and tightening of collagen which firms up the soft palate resulting in decreased vibrations and decreased snoring. This leads to a reduction in the vibration of the tissue and snoring whist the patient is asleep. The treatment itself is very comfortable for the patient. It is normal to experience a warm sensation at the back of the throat as the laser works to tighten the tissue, but this is tolerable. Post-treatment recovery is usually quick and there is no downtime with the Romeo laser – many patients return to work immediately.
Research has shown that snoring can be reduced by up to 60% after two or three treatments with ENRICH Clinic’s high-tech target lasers designed to tighten the soft palate and stop snoring. The laser minimal downtime, with doctors suggesting you might have a couple of days with a sore throat feeling. Following the treatment, we recommend avoiding cold foods, fizzy drinks and no smoking or alcohol for 24-48 hours. For best results, patients will undergo two to three treatments at four week intervals.
Contact us for an appointment to stop snoring today.