What are the non-surgical options?
Snoring is a common ailment, and nearly everyone snores occasionally. However, it can be inconvenient if it is affecting your quality of sleep or those who you live with.
However, before snoring surgery is even considered, there are a variety of non-surgical options available to help cure your condition.
Snoring can be caused by a range of factors such as age, body shape, nasal or sinus problems, alcohol, smoking, and certain medications. Ascertaining what is causing your snoring can help in finding a solution.
It is sometimes possible to remedy snoring by making lifestyle changes, such as:
- Losing weight
- Drinking less alcohol, especially before bed
- Giving up smoking
- Taking more exercise and being more active
If lifestyle changes are not effective, there are also other non-surgical methods which can help to address snoring problems. These include:
- Nasal strips
- Chin strips
- Mandibular repositioning splint
- Adjusting your sleep position
Snoring can also be a symptom of a more serious health condition, such as sleep apnoea, and so it is advised to discuss your snoring with your doctor to rule out more serious conditions.
The Harley Street Nose Clinic can refer you to a sleep physician if necessary to conduct a sleep test
What is a functional sleep study?
Sleep studies are tests that record what happens to your body during your stages of sleep. Sleep studies are carried out by a trained sleep lab technician and are usually scheduled for evening and night hours (10pm to 6am) in a special sleep lab.
What types of sleep study are performed by Harley Street Nose Clinic?
this test records several body functions during sleep, including brain activity, eye movement, oxygen and carbon dioxide blood levels, heart rate and rhythm, breathing rate and rhythm, the flow of air through your mouth and nose, snoring, body muscle movements, and chest and belly movement.
- Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT)
this test measures how long it takes you to fall asleep. It also determines whether you enter REM sleep.
- Maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT)
this test measures whether you can stay awake during a time when you are normally awake.
The aims of a sleep study are to discover which sleeping problem a patient suffers from, including:
- sleep apnoea – when an adult regularly stops breathing during sleep for 10 seconds or longer
- excessive snoring which is often caused by nasal blockage
- problems staying awake, such as narcolepsy
- problems with night-time behaviours, such as sleepwalking, night terrors, or bed-wetting
- problems sleeping at night (insomnia). This may be caused by stress, depression, hunger, physical discomfort, or other problems
- problems sleeping during the day because you work at night or do rotating shift work. This sleep problem is called shift work sleep disorder
- conditions such as periodic limb movement disorder, which is repeated muscle twitching of the feet, arms, or legs during sleep.
What is snoring surgery?
Snoring surgery is only considered in severe cases where other treatments have been undertaken and failed. The aim of snoring surgery procedures is to reduce or stop collapsibility of the oropharyngeal segment (area around the throat). This is usually done by reducing the amount of soft palate and/or removing the tonsils.
There are four basic surgical procedures performed by our specialists at the Harley Street Nose Clinic.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
This treatment involves removing excess soft tissue from the throat to widen the upper airway. This may involve removing the tonsils and adenoids and other tissues in the back of the throat.
- Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
Performed under local or general anaesthetic, this procedure involves using a laser to remove excess tissue in the throat.
- Palatal stiffening (CAPSO)
A minimally invasive procedure performed under local anaesthetic. This method burns the palate causing fibrosis and consequent stiffening of the soft palate. When the soft palate and uvula are stiffer, they are less likely to vibrate, and you are less likely to snore.
- Radio-frequency ablation (Somnopplasty)
Often known as a somnoplasty, this minimally invasive, 20 minute treatment is designed to shrink redundant tissue on the soft palate. The procedure involves heating the inner tissue to 85ºC which results in the tissue beneath the skin being scarred.
What does a liaison with sleep physicians involve?
After reviewing your symptoms and conditions, it may be decided that a sleep study would be beneficial. If this is the case, your consultant will discuss this with you and the Harley Street Nose Clinic is well placed to arrange this on your behalf.
Where possible, we endeavour to offer you the most convenient appointment time and location to ensure that the study is not disruptive for you. You will be referred to a specific sleep lab and will be required to stay overnight. Your consultant will discuss the process with you in more detail to help you feel at ease.