Snoring is a common problem afflicting millions of persons, specially males beyond a certain age.
Apart from the social nuisance as well as the embarrassment to the snorer it is also an uncomfortable experience for the person who sleeps next to a snorer.
Snoring in a few cases is also linked with Obstructive Sleep Apnoea Syndrome – OSAS – and this has long term health consequences.
Snoring is treated in a wide variety of ways, including the use of oral and nasal appliances, as well as surgical procedures like Uvulopalatoplasty(UPPP), Mandibular advancement, Reduction of Base of the Tongue etc. These are usually extensive procedures with considerable post operative pain and discomfort. The surgeries are performed under General Anaesthesia.
Since the pliable curtain of the soft palate at the back of the throat is a known culprit in causing snoring, procedures on the palate have become common over a period of time. Their aim is to reduce the flutter of the palate which results in snoring
There are procedures to trim the palate, to scar the palate, or to stiffen the palate using Radiofrequency probes.
An innovative new technique to reduce snoring is Injection Snoreplasty.
The purpose of the surgery is to stiffen the palate and thus reduce Palatal Flutter – a common cause of Snoring.
In this procedure a soft palate stiffening agent is injected into the soft palate to reduce snoring.
It is a simple out patient procedure and the patient can go to work the same day.
The stiffening of the soft palate is, however, temporary and the injection may need to repeated after a period of time.
A positive response to the procedure is also a good predictor of the surgical procedure UPPP where part of the soft palate is trimmed along with other tissues.
The patient sits on the chair and the sclerosing agent is injected into the soft palate.
Sodium tetradecyl sulfate (STS) is the commonest agent use though others have also been tried.
The procedure may be repeated once after 6-8 weeks depending upon the response – patient response to the treatment on account of reduction in snoring plus visual confirmation of the stiffening of the soft palate by the ENT specialist.
Oral Injections into the soft palate is a safe and effective treatment for snoring arising from flutter of the soft palate.
If we combine Myofunctional therapy with this technique the results can be more gratifying- Myofunctional therapy includes teaching the patient certain exercises to improve their nasal breathing and to reduce snoring.