How to Stop Snoring: The Non-Surgical Solution with Long Lasting Results!
If you find that your closest relationships are suffering because of your snoring problems, you’re not alone—It has been estimated that as many as 15%1 of Singaporeans suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). That’s roughly 887,392 folks out of our nearly 6-million-strong population. Furthermore, CNA Lifestyle2 has recently reported that when it comes to night-time saw loggers, Singapore is the third noisiest city in the world. As the pandemic sees more Singaporeans seeking help for their snoring, I want to shed some light on this condition and its treatments.
Now, snoring isn’t just a superficial auditory issue that negatively impacts the sleep quality of your bed partners, it can be indicative of a more severe medical problem like the aforementioned OSA, which causes individuals to stop breathing in their sleep, and can lead to excessive daytime sleepiness3, thereby greatly impacting a patient’s quality of life.
Even for those without sleep apnea, snoring can be a risk factor for pulmonary hypertension, cerebral infarction, congestive heart failure, and angina pectoris.
We all want quality sleep, but is the price to pay worth it?
Quality sleep allows the body to properly redistribute energy that is to be used by the brain, muscles, and the immune system. This is why we’ve all been told to clock at least seven hours of sleep regularly—Good sleep is known to reduce stress levels and improve one’s overall well-being. Those who regularly snore at night can often feel restless even with 7 hours of sleep as it is often an indication of poor quality of sleep.
Many snorers seek out conventional snoring therapies such as the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and palate surgery. But those who’ve used a CPAP machine would know just how unsavoury it is to have a device strapped to your mouth whilst you’re asleep!
Let’s face it: CPAPs are not great for cosy times in bed either. The invasiveness of surgical operations also brings its own set of risks and complications too, such as infection, bleeding, and changes in one’s voice. Not to mention the complicated and often painful downtime.
But don’t be disheartened! Peaceful and quality sleep is not out of your reach. Allow me to introduce a cost-effective, safe and non-invasive way that has successfully treated many of my patients’ snoring woes – Fotona NightLase.
What is Fotona NightLase, or laser snoring treatment?
How is Fotona Nightlase treatment carried out?
One full treatment of NightLase consists of three treatment sessions over a two-month period. The final results of the treatment have been shown to last up to a year, and the procedure can be easily repeated without much hassle.
During NightLase treatment, light heats and tightens body tissue, which leads to an attenuation of a patient’s snoring levels, and a lessening of other sleep apnea symptoms. The procedure is performed in two simple steps:
- Step 1: Preconditioning
Laser light preheats tissue
- Step 2: Tissue strengthening
Laser light strengthens tissue
As NightLase does not require constant device-wearing, and involves no chemical treatment or anaesthesia, it is a truly satisfying solution.
What results can I expect?
- 91.5% of patients reported significant short term improvement, whilst 79.7% saw long term improvement5
- 96.7%6of patients were satisfied after one month of treatment, and saw a significant improvement in their Epworth sleepiness scale.
- Satisfied patients also saw significant improvements with each session.
Is this therapy safe?
Along with the treatment not requiring anaesthesia, Nightlase is also known to be free of major complications such as postoperative hemorrhage. The most common side effects reported were throat dryness and itching. Most patients require little to no downtime after Nightlase treatment.
Fotona Nightlase boasts a major improvement over traditional uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) surgery, which has an 86%7 success rate for treatment of snoring, but has additional risks of death and severe complications. Also, it is much more cost-effective compared to UPPP.
While UPPP has been reported to improve snoring, only approximately 40% of patients undergoing UPPP have shown major improvement in their OSA condition.
Should I do Fotona Nightlase or Surgery?
Compared to surgeries like Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), Fotona NightLase requires little to no downtime, and is significantly less painful, complicated, and costly.
While there is no permanent solution for snoring, you can choose one that makes your life a lot easier and enjoyable. With Fotona NightLase, treatment can be performed easily anytime the soft tissues in a patient’s airway start to loosen.
Here are some factors to consider when deciding between UPPP or laser snoring treatment:
|Treatment/ Attribute||UPPP Surgery||Fotona NightLase|
|What it is||Opens the upper airways by taking out extra tissue in the throat.||Laser light heats and tightens soft tissue, leading to a reduction of a patient’s symptoms.|
|Invasiveness||Soft tissue from the back of the throat is removed, and includes: All of, or part of the uvula Tonsils and adenoids Portions of the soft palate and tissue at the sides of the throat General anaesthesia is required. Stitches are involved, and local anaesthesia may be used to prevent post surgery pain.||Fotona allows for the superficial penetration of heat into tissue, sans the adverse effects or damage. It is mild enough to be used on sensitive tissue within the mouth, and strong enough to provide effectual heating. No anaesthesia or chemical treatments are required either.|
|Downtime and recovery side effects||Recovery takes around 3 weeks. During which, your throat will be very sore, making it difficult to swallow. Due to this, only 60% of patients say they would undergo UPPP again. You might feel like something is stuck in the back of your throat for 6-12 months following surgery.||Little to no downtime. A small number of patients experience short-term dryness in the throat. Treatment usually consists of 3 separate sessions spaced 4 weeks apart for optimal results.|
|Length of effects||Long-term efficacy, but CPAP is often required even after surgery. Patients are also likely to experience long-term side effects.||Effective after the first session. Optimal results after 3 sessions of NightLase have been shown to last for a year.|
|Cost||UPPP usually starts at $10,000 in addition to CPAP machine that starts at $1,000||$3,000 for 3 sessions|
|Success rate and risk(s)||86% success rate. UPPP is not without risk of morbidity and other complications such as bleeding, infection, severe throat pain, and changes in voice.||91.5% reported significant short term improvement, and 79.7% reported long term improvement. Few risks and no major complications involved.|
How soon can I see results, and are they really long lasting?
While results may vary, most patients see improvement in their sleep quality after just one Fotona Nightlase treatment, and since collagen production requires time, the recommended interval between each session is four weeks.
Although periodic maintenance treatments may be required, Fotona NightLase remains undoubtedly worth it as it is easy, non-invasive, requires no downtime, and is a great solution especially for CPAP-intolerant folks.
Many Singaporeans are not satisfied with their sleep, and even more do not know what’s preventing them from getting the quality sleep they deserve. Don’t remain helpless.
Have questions? Feel free to contact me!
- Puvanendran, K., & Goh, K. L. (1999). From snoring to sleep apnea in a Singapore population. Sleep research online : SRO, 2(1), 11–14.
- Kyrmizakis, D. E., Chimona, T. S., Papadakis, C. E., Bizakis, J. G., Velegrakis, G. A., Schiza, S., Siafakas, N. M., & Helidonis, E. S. (2003). Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty for the treatment of snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. The Journal of otolaryngology, 32(3), 174–179. https://doi.org/10.2310/7070.2003.40423
- Monteiro, L., Macedo, A., Corte-Real, L., Salazar, F., & Pacheco, J. J. (2020). Treatment of snoring disorder with a non-ablactive Er:YAG laser dual mode protocol. An interventional study. Journal of clinical and experimental dentistry, 12(6), e561–e567. https://doi.org/10.4317/jced.56953
- Croft, C. B., & Golding-Wood, D. G. (1990). Uses and complications of uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. The Journal of laryngology and otology, 104(11), 871–875. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0022215100114215