Tags: Health Topics | apnea | laup | palatal implants | raup

4 New Solutions to Snoring Emerging From Tech

4 New Solutions to Snoring Emerging From Tech

Monday, 16 October 2017 12:27 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Do you snore? Or do you know somebody who snores? Chances are you do, and it’s been a problem for their sleeping habits or the sleeping habits of their family. Snoring has long been a problem, for between 24 and 40 percent of the populationMost of the consumer solutions are gimmicky, and only marginally effective at best. Worst of all, they seem to have different rates of effectiveness for different people.

Fortunately, medical professionals and engineers are working together to better understand the root-causes of snoring, and are working on high-tech solutions to the problem. Some of these promise to cure snoring for good—at least in some participants.

Why Snoring Is Difficult to Treat 

First, let’s take a look at some of the reasons why snoring is notoriously difficult to treat:

  • Root causes. Most people assume that snoring is the result of the soft palate (the soft, fleshy tissue at the back of the roof of your mouth) vibrating whenever someone is breathing through the mouth. While there’s definitely some truth to this, and it’s the main cause for millions of snorers, it’s only part of the potential equation. Snoring can also be attributed to things like sleep apnea, enlarged tonsils or tongue, or even a simple case of allergies.

  • Complications. Things get even more complicated because it’s rarely only one direct cause of snoring at play. Instead, sufferers deal with multiple root causes at once, making it even harder to come up with a singular treatment.

  • Expense. It’s expensive to perform the research necessary to study and imagine solutions for snoring. The fact that solutions must target individuals, rather than offering a universal "cure" makes that expense even less appealing to researchers.

New Solutions

Fortunately, researchers are still making progress. Many of the newest and most promising solutions for snoring involve some type of surgery, which most people try to avoid at all costs, but their effectiveness is consistent—and in most cases, permanent.

So what are the newest solutions that are available?

1. Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). This procedure relies on a laser to cut away excess tissue on the soft palate, which may be responsible for the excessive vibration when breathing in through the mouth. The surgeon then tightens up the palate, which should prevent future cases of snoring. Some patients do report persistent pain after the procedure, but in many cases where soft palate dysfunction is the primary cause, it’s often effective.

2. Radiofrequency-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (RAUP). RAUP, also known as a somnoplasty, treats an excessively vibrating soft palate just like LAUP. However, instead of using a laser, it uses microwaves to create scar tissue in the soft palate, and eventually stiffen it so it vibrates less. The procedure is associated with less pain during recovery, but may take up to three sessions to fully complete.

3. Palatal implants. Surgeons are now also offering palatal implants, which are made of polyester, and are inserted into the soft palate to stiffen it from the inside. It’s one of the least invasive methods of surgery, and usually allows patients to return to work the next day.

4. Snoreplasty. Snoreplasty treatments don’t require formal surgery; instead, they rely on a series of injections to the soft palate directly. These injections introduce a chemical substance that stiffens the palate, reducing the noise from snoring (or eliminating snoring altogether). The problem is the original compound used for snoreplasty procedures is hard to find; alternatives exist, but may not be as effective. You’ll also need three injections before the treatment is complete, separated by a month or two.

Obviously, since every snorer is different, there will never be a single solution for snoring that works for everybody. The solutions here will undoubtedly work for some better than others, and even future solutions are unlikely to serve needs on a universal basis. Still, we’re making tremendous strides in better understanding the root causes of snoring, and have more options available than ever before. If you are a chronic snorer, now is the time to research these possibilities — and maybe start sleeping soundly for the first time in your life.

Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer, and researcher. A graduate of Iowa State University, he's now a full-time freelance writer and business consultant. Currently, Larry writes for Entrepreneur.com, Inc.com, and Forbes.com, among others. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter (@LarryAlton3), at LinkedIn.com/in/larryalton, and on his website, LarryAlton.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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We’re making tremendous strides in better understanding the root causes of snoring, and have more options available than ever before. If you are a chronic snorer, now is the time to research these possibilities, and maybe start sleeping soundly for the first time in your life.
apnea, laup, palatal implants, raup
Monday, 16 October 2017 12:27 PM
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