Society often regards snoring as an embarrassment: seen in the same view as public flatulence or stinky feet. Social media depict snoring as hilarious. The truth is, snoring is no joke. But consistent loud snoring—particularly when accompanied by awakening with a dry mouth, day time fatigue and hypersomnia—may be a sign of having sleep apnea, an intractable condition in which breathing stops and repeatedly starts as you sleep. Sleep apnea is a grave medical condition, and complications can include type II diabetes, liver disorders, sleep-deprived partners, metabolic syndrome, heart problems, and daytime fatigue. For those who have sleep apnea in The Woodlands, Texas, Scott Young, DDS company offers a simple yet effective solution to tackle the disorder—the NightLase® snoring therapy. This article shows how NightLase® helps manage sleep apnea.
What is Laser Treatment Option: NightLase®?
NightLase® Therapy is a non-surgical and non-invasive technique that uses a laser to shrink and tighten the soft palate, the uvula, and the surrounding tissues, thus eliminating snoring. The airway muscles become relatively firmer and less susceptible to collapse. Collapsibility of the pharynx and the anatomical predisposition (for example, having a larger tongue or narrower airway) is the main cause of sleep apnea. NightLase® therapy causes contraction of collagen in the airway tissues resulting in a tightening effect. Additionally, this technique has been employed in other disciplines for years such as with applications in the smoothing of wrinkles and vaginal rejuvenation, for instance, but was only applied recently to the oral cavity.
How it Works
The therapy itself is non-invasive and simple. During the twenty-minute therapy session, treatment is performed using a laser beam. The laser beam is delivered manually across the target either horizontally or vertically, depending on the region. Usually, you will experience a warming sensation as the laser pulses, creating the desired restructuring effect. There is no anesthesia and no cutting of tissues. Once the treatment is done, you can resume your day-to-day routine with no recovery or downtime needed. The only side effect is that you may experience scratchy throat or mild soreness over the next 48 hours. Typically, this therapy includes three sessions over a period of six weeks. Each session occurs after twenty-one days. The goal of NightLase® therapy is to increase the size of the airway and reduce tissue turbulence. Lowering the Mallampati classification tends to eliminate or decrease snoring.
Survey has shown that over 80% percent of patients undergoing these therapies experience significant improvements in relation to the frequency, intensity, and duration of snoring. However, just like all other laser-based procedures, the result often fades after some time, meaning that a touch-up session must be conducted to maintain results. These touch-up sessions are actually beneficial to the patients in the sense that no irreversible changes such as in surgeries are made to the throat.
Both sleep apnea and snoring cause multiple health conditions and are potentially life-threatening. Still, a lot of people with such conditions are unwilling to try and treat it because of uncomfortable procedures and fear of undergoing surgeries. If you experience symptoms or notice signs that may suggest you have sleep apnea, consider having this simple non-invasive technique done. Besides, the procedure takes only about 20-minutes with no pain experienced before or after, so there’s nothing to be afraid of.