Effective treatment is available for almost all patients. The treatment of snoring requires a multidisciplinary and logical approach, and is divided into medical and surgical options. The therapeutic choice is individualised. A ‘staged’ approach is often used, which involves medical therapy first, followed by consideration of surgery.
Conservative treatment includes eliminating outside factors that may be playing a role in snoring. These include:
Surgical procedures for the treatment of snoring may include nasal, palate, jaw, tongue or neck surgery depending on the location of the tissues contributing to the snoring.
Most treatments are directed at the soft palate (soft tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth) since this is the most common site of snoring. Surgery of the soft palate is effective in 80-90% of cases and can be associated with postoperative pain for 7-10 days.
Certain nasal conditions can cause snoring and require assessment by an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon. Some snorers have excessive tissue such as large tonsils, long palate and bulky tongue. Removal of such excessive tissues will help alleviate snoring.
Types of surgery include:
Radiofrequency thermal ablation of the soft palate and tongue (somnoplasty) is also used to treat snoring. It stiffens and shrinks the tissues of the soft palate and tongue base.
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