Implants could do it
A recent innovation in the treatment of snoring is the snoring implant. If the oral snoring device is too bulky for you while surgery seems to be a farfetched option, a snoring implant might work well in eliminating or lessening the intensity of snoring. The snoring implant system is just a simple outpatient procedure that normally takes 10-15 minutes.
The snoring sound most of the time is created in the soft palate. During sleep, muscles around the throat relax causing the soft tissues of the palate to collapse constricting the air passage. Air rushes in the narrowed airway vibrating the collapsing soft palate. That’s why implants are inserted in the soft palate to stiffen the tissues and prevent them from sagging. Scarring of the tissues also helps in stiffening the soft palate.
Your doctor administers a local anesthesia to numb the soft palate. Then, he embeds three implants (3/4 inch long and 6/100 inches in diameter) made of state of the art, non-absorbable polyester yarn called the Pillar Palatal Implant System from Restore Medical Center, Inc. in St. Paul, MN.
Effects of the snoring implant
The procedure inflicts no pain on the patient because no cuts are made and the discomforts are minimal. Some patients who have the snoring implant reported only a sensation of having a sore throat. Patients said short-term results of the snoring implant experienced reduced incidence of snoring by the fourth to the sixth week and continued progress was achieved up to 90 days. The snoring implant is designed to become permanent as well as its effects. Fibrosis, or scarring, aids in stiffening the palate to make it maintain its integrity. In turn, this eliminates or minimizes the vibrations created by the collapsing soft palate during sleep.
Patients who have the snoring implant reported they are not able to see the foreign body. Moreover, patients emphasized that they did not notice any changes in their voices due to the snoring implant nor was there any difficulty in swallowing (since the latter is primarily initiated by the tongue).
Researchers at the Restore Medical Center are still conducting more clinical trials on the snoring implant and its efficacy in the treatment of obstructive sleeping apnea (OSA) since FDA permit they have for this is for snoring only.
Although snoring may not be as destructive as OSA, studies noted that people, and even young adults, were one and a half times more likely to develop high blood pressure at a young age than those who didn’t snore.