Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Just under half of adults snore on an occasional basis, with approximately a quarter of adults qualifying as habitual problem snorers. Habitual snoring is much more common in males and individuals who are overweight, normally growing worse as a person ages. The sound of snoring is created when the flow of air through the nose and mouth is blocked or obstructed in some way.
While some snoring can be normal, there can also be some harmful effects. Recently, these harmful effects have been connected to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) as well as Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). Several treatments have been developed to deal with OSA and UARS, which include a change in sleeping positions, techniques for adjusting the position of the jaw, Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) and LAUP or Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty.
Laser Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
LAUP is administered on an outpatient basis and only requires a local anesthesia to perform. The treatment consists of three to five visits and a laser is utilized to remove either all or a significant part of the uvula. The treatments normally last between thirty and forty-five minutes and a sore throat following the procedure is normal.
Procedure 2-Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)
In a UPPP procedure, a surgeon will remove tissue from the back of the mouth and throat. This clears a path for air to move more freely through the mouth and throat, reducing obstruction. Tissue that is removed may be part of the mouth, tonsils and sometimes even part of the tongue. Additional therapy may be needed after the surgery is completed.
Recovery Time and After Treatment
After both types of procedures, recovery time is limited and patients can typically return to normal activities almost immediately. However, additional therapy can be required to resolve the problem completely, such as continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP. Additionally, patients may experience some soreness in the throat and mouth area for several days following the procedure. Pain medication after a procedure should only be taken if it is approved or recommended by the physician.