Most people snore mildly from time to time. But for some people, snoring becomes more than a mild or occasional thing. Loud, excessive snoring can keep your partner up at night. It may even wake you from your dreams or make your own sleep less restful. If you have tried several kinds of pillows, abstaining from alcohol, and taking allergy meds with limited results, it might be time to do more about your snoring. Here are three surgeries that often put an end to serious, persistent snoring.
One reason people snore is if their soft palate, which forms the roof of the mouth, tends to collapse downward while they are sleeping. The palate will then obstruct the airway partially, and it will vibrate and make snoring noises every time in order to inhale or exhale. If your doctor believes this to be the cause of your snoring, they may recommend a surgery called palate implant surgery. Several long, thin rods can be implanted in the palate. These are made of a biocompatible plastic material. They are a bit stiffer than your soft palate, and they hold it in place so it no longer vibrates when you're breathing. This is often performed with a local anesthetic and sedative.
Known as a UPPP for short, this procedure involves the removal of some of the soft tissues in your throat. The uvula, which is the infamous "punching bag" at the back of your throat, is removed. Sometimes part of the soft palate is removed, too. This approach is common in older patients whose throat and palate tissue has lost tension with age. It can not only stop snoring, but can also make breathing easier in the daytime. It's performed under local anesthesia, and there is some recovery involved, but most patients are pleased with the results.
Hypoglossal Nerve Implant
There is a nerve called the hypoglossal nerve, which controls the muscles in your airway. If this nerve is not activated properly when you are asleep, snoring can be the result. If your doctor thinks this is your reason for snoring, they can implant a tiny nerve-stimulating device right by your hypoglossal nerve. It will activate this nerve when you're sleeping and either stop your snoring completely or greatly minimize it. The surgery is done through small incisions and usually with local anesthesia.
Talk to your doctor about these common surgeries for snoring. They can let you know which one best fits your needs. For more information on snoring surgery, contact a professional near you.