The biggest risk of snoring is not the sound it makes. Snoring can be a clue that the airway is not fully open, which means that inadequate oxygen is reaching the lungs, heart, brain, and other systems, and blood pressure must increase to try to circulate enough oxygen. Snoring can be just the most noticeable symptom of serious health risks.
Those with obstructive sleep apnea hold their breath during the night for 10–30 seconds at a time because the airway is blocked. This can sound like snoring or gasping to someone listening. This can increase the risk of:
- Heart disease.
- Poor development in children.
- Many other conditions.
How can a doctor open the airway? One method is to guide more air past an obstruction using a CPAP machine. Using a CPAP machine requires the patient to wear a mask over their face every night.
Another method is to surgically cut tissue in the throat and surrounding tissues in a special surgical procedure. Many patients, though, do not want to sleep with a CPAP or get surgical alteration. Fortunately, there are other solutions.
Today, oral night guards and NightLase surgery are exciting treatment options that can give you the results you want—including restful sleep and days free of headaches—without surgery or cumbersome machines.
NightLase Laser Treatment
Instead of cutting out the tissue in the throat, a laser can cause the tissue to shift, creating more space in the airway for better breathing. No tissue is actually lost, and the procedure is basically painless. It doesn’t even require anesthetic!
When the laser touches the back of your throat, you’ll feel little to no pain. It can feel like a light misting of hot water. Our patients are amazed and grateful at how painless it is. They can even eat, drink, and speak naturally right afterwards.
What Does the Laser Do?
Our laser delivers energy at high temperatures which cause proteins within collagen fibers in your throat to transform, which leads to a tightening of certain tissues in the throat. Why does that matter? Because those tissues move out of the way of the airway enough to let more air through.
Your doctor is trained and experienced in using the NightLase laser device. Depending on your needs, he will use it to affect the:
- Hard palate.
- Soft palate.
- Posterior pillars and tonsils.
- Certain areas of the tongue.
- Anterior pillar area.
- Soft palate.
How Long Does Treatment Last?
Each session with NightLase takes only about 30 minutes. Then, to be certain that you get the results you need, we’ll repeat the treatment several times within about a seven-week period. We leave about three weeks between each session. The maximum time the initial treatments take would be about nine weeks, and this is only necessary for some patients.
After that, we’ll perform a maintenance session on you once per year. The tissues in the mouth are very active. They’re capable of growing and shifting a lot in a year. It’s important that we continue to check on them in order to ensure that your airway is open and you get enough oxygen in your sleep.
Is This Treatment Safe and Proven?
There have been studies that have found that NightLase can decrease the severity of snoring by about half within just two sessions. More than 95% of patients could tell that their snoring had lessened. And 60% of patients said the improvement was “significant” or “excellent.”
In a different study, patients said that they could breathe more easily after their treatment. They also reported better focus and alertness.
Very importantly, studies have found no negative side effects. Patients reported their discomfort during procedures to be only an average of 1.5 on a scale of 1–5, which is quite manageable.
When participants in studies finished a full course of treatments, they reported an average 85% improvement in their snoring symptoms. They also still enjoyed these benefits when researchers checked on them as much as three years later.
Get NightLase—the Revolutionary Sleep Apnea Treatment
You can now get relief from obstructive sleep apnea without wearing any device while you sleep. NightLase also requires no chemicals or anesthesia. Within just three to four treatments, your airway can be far clearer, and you’ll be able to breathe better all the time—not just at night.
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, call us at Central Connecticut Orofacial Pain & Sleep Medicine to set up an appointment. You’ll be able to explore your options to stop snoring and enjoy restful sleep again.