Non-Surgical Snoring Treatments
More than 300 snoring treatment devices have been developed to prevent snoring, including special pillows, dental bites and chin straps. People have even sewn tennis balls into the backs of pajamas to keep from snoring. These snoring treatments are based on behavior modification and do not physically correct the underlying anatomical problem.
Laser Snoring Treatments
A Cleveland Clinic ENT specialist often offers laser surgery with a local anesthetic to correct the anatomic cause of snoring by trimming the uvula and soft palate. Laser snoring treatments are usually done in the doctor’s office with the patient fully awake and sitting in a chair. A complete snoring treatment consists of one to three sessions, each four weeks apart. Each session takes only 15 to 30 minutes.
Afterward, the patient is able to eat, speak and return to daily activities. A severe sore throat is experienced by some patients following snoring treatments. Medication is available as necessary. A reduction in snoring after the first session is common. After the snoring treatments are completed, 85 percent of patients report that their snoring has been helped.
The latest and least invasive surgical measure for snoring treatments is radiofrequency coagulation. After local anesthesia is administered, radiofrequency energy is delivered directly by an ENT specialist via an insulated needle to the tissue producing snoring. The needle remains in the tissue for approximately three minutes, during which time hardening occurs. One to three applications at six week intervals may be necessary to achieve the desired results.
A non-surgical procedure and limited amount of postoperative discomfort are significant advantages of radiofrequency snoring treatments.
Insurance Coverage for Snoring Treatments
Currently, most insurance companies do not pay for the snoring treatments as a distinct, isolated problem. Some patients undergo sleep studies, which confirm the severity of their sleep disorder, thereby rendering treatment insurable. In most cases, snoring is caused by several anatomic factors that jointly block the airway during sleep. Correction of these factors, such as nasal obstruction, enlarged tonsils and abnormalities of the palate, is covered by insurance.
Am I a Candidate for Radiofrequency Surgery?
An initial consultation with an ENT specialist will help to determine if radiofrequency snoring treatments are appropriate such as somnoplasty is appropriate for you. A somnoplasty uses radiofrequency energy to create lesions beneath the uvula and soft palate. The somnoplasty causes stiffness of the palate that can eventually stop snoring.
This information is for educational purposes only and should not be relied upon as medical advice. It has not been designed to replace a physician’s independent judgment about the appropriateness or risks of a snoring treatment procedure for a given patient.