Specialist Clinics of Australia treats this problem through its SleepTight laser, which tightens the skin that would relax and obstruct the air passage. This means patients can breathe easier, and in some instances, stop snoring completely.
SleepTight is a new adaptation of a technique for using lasers that we have used for many years. It is a treatment to improve snoring in terms of the loudness, frequency and severity of snoring and has provided every one of our patients with some relief. We must stress that it is not a treatment that will completely cure snoring. As we age, our tissues both externally and internally in the back of the throat become weaker. As a result, this treatment will need to be repeated.
The SleepTight treatment has been around since 2012. Results may vary person to person, but our own extensive Research and Development study, shows 85% of our patients have experienced Good or Very Good improvement in their symptoms of snoring and/or sleep apnoea.
It is a repeatable treatment and every time heat is placed, it causes a contraction and tightening of the tissue at the back of the throat, it will stimulate new collagen to strengthen the tissue for the next 6 months. Maintenance treatments will be required 1-3 times per year, depending on the severity of the original symptoms, your age and lifestyle.
If you’re not a suitable candidate for SleepTight, or are interested in other alternatives to treat your snoring habits – these include:
Sleeping mouth guards
The most common solution for those with severe snoring. The purpose of a mouthguard is to bring the lower jaw forward in front of the upper jaw producing an under bite as a consequence opening up the airway at the back of the throat. However, most people who try mouth guards find they cannot sleep because they are uncomfortable to wear. Unless you are highly motivated to overcome the discomfort, they are not a very good solution.
The most common device used for those with severe sleep apnoea. A CPAP machine is an oxygen mask creating positive air pressure through your mouth and nose all night long, forcing the airway to stay open. This is a very successful device, but most people who try this device cannot get used to it due to the awkward nature of wearing a mask across your mouth and nose every night. However, it can be a medical necessity for people who have severe sleep apnoea or snoring.
Ears, Nose and Throat (ENT) surgical procedures
These are procedures where the soft tissue at back of the throat called the soft palette and the little tongue that sticks down called the uvula are physically cut out. The procedure is very unpleasant and many ENT surgeons do not like doing it because it is a difficult procedure and causes a lot of pain and sides effects afterwards, including a temporary obstruction to the airway due to the swelling which can require many days in hospital.
Other procedures include the insertion of artificial rods within the skin of the soft tissue at the back of the throat to try and stiffen the tissue at the back of the throat; or shaving off the back of the tongue so it does not roll back and obstruct the airway as much. Both procedures are unpleasant and are not an easy solution for either sleep apnoea or snoring.