Whether it’s keeping your partner awake or waking you up through the night, snoring can impact you and your relationships. From a squeak or a wheeze to the gentle roar of a chainsaw, believe it or not, snoring actually affects an amazing 40% of men and 24% of women!
“snoring actually affects an amazing 40% of men and 24% of women”
Mild snoring may be nothing more than an irritation, but when it becomes more severe it can cause very serious problems. Yes, it can leave you feeling constantly tired and fatigued, but this is only a knock on effect – when you’re tired, your career can take a hit with a decrease in performance and it can wreak havoc with home life, leading to couples sleeping in separate rooms.
Luckily there are ways to overcome snoring (and no, it’s not staying awake for as long as humanly possible!). Let’s unpack a little behind the reasons we snore (this might open some door in your mind) and what you can do to effectively help it.
What actually causes snoring
Most people think snoring is caused by something in their nose! But in fact, it’s commonly caused when the tissues in the back of the throat become loose and floppy. When you lie flat it then causes the tissue to vibrate as you breathe, producing subtle or (more often than not) not-so subtle noises.
As your snoring condition develops, these floppy tissues can block the airway to cause what is known as sleep apnoea (stopping breathing for periods during sleep). When sleep apnoea becomes severe, meaning when long and frequent gaps begin to occur in your normal breathing overnight. It’s at this point that the condition can cause serious health risks and you should see someone about it as soon as possible.
How to treat your snoring painlessly and cost-effectively
A new laser technology called Fotona Nightlase is proving to be a popular option when matched to the correct patient. The treatment involves using a special type of laser to deliver rapid bursts of ‘heating energy’ to the back of the throat. Nothing actually touches the throat, and there is no cutting or bleeding involved. All you feel is a sense of heat in the throat, which most patients can tolerate quite comfortably without any anaesthetic. For those with very sensitive throats, we use a few puffs of an anaesthetic spray to numb the area.
The effect of the heating is to tighten and firm collagen fibres. Collagen is a “triple helix” structure, meaning it’s like a spring with three strands woven together. Over time this spring can lose its tension and become loose. When we heat the spring up, this restores strength and tension to the fibres, helping to stop the back of the throat collapsing backwards and vibrating when you’re asleep, reducing your snoring.
The benefits of this treatment over other traditional “devices” are that it’s:
- Cost effective
- You don’t have to wear anything while you sleep
- No more clunky devices
- Only three 20-30 minute treatments
- No need for medications after treatment and no downtime
Are the results too good to be true?
After performing many hundreds of Nightlase treatments at we have found:
- The vast majority of patients report significant reduction in their snoring
- Quality of sleep is improved, and patients feel more alert and energetic during the day
- There are no significant side effects
- The effects are generally long-lasting, usually over a year or sometimes even several years
Statistics show that only about 10-20% of people don’t get the results they want. This generally occurs when the candidate is overweight with nasal problems or has low level of underlying health and fitness. If you feel this may not work for you, you can speak to our doctors to work through any weight or health concerns to get you on track so you feel confident having the treatment.
How to tell if Fotona Nightlase is right for you
When we discuss Nightlase with you, we are trying to match the right treatment to the right patient to maximise our chances of success. Factors that can indicate being less likely to do well with Nightlase include:
- Being overweight (BMI of >30)
- Moderate or severe sleep apnoea proven on a sleep study
- Heavy smokers or drinkers
- Underlying medical problems that affect collagen production.
Often it’s best to try and reduce these risk factors first, with weight loss or other measures. We find about 10-20% of patients do not get the result we were hoping for, and it’s often because of factors like this. This is why we do a detailed consultation before your treatment, setting you up to ensure you get the best results possible.
How Fotona Nightlase technology works
The treatment steps are as follows:
- Lay down comfortably and put on protective glasses over your eyes
- We can then apply a local anesthetic spray back of your throat if you wish, but most patients find they do not need it
- A painless laser is then used at the back of the throat – it does not actually touch you, but is held in front of the open mouth. This laser energy causes a controlled heating effect at the back of the throat and stimulates the contraction of collagen fibres. This will ideally stiffen up your palate and prevent it from flopping back and causing vibrations which create the sound of snoring
- “10,000 shots” of the laser is administered which takes about 15 minutes.
Cost of laser snoring treatments
Expect to pay anything between $500 to $1000 per session for Nightlase, depending on where you go and who you see. At Azure Medical, the fee per treatment is $500. You will need a full cycle in order for the treatments to be effective This means a total of 3 sessions at:
- Day 1
- 2 week mark
- 6 weeks mark.
Each treatment takes around 20-30 minutes and you can get back to your normal activities straight away with absolutely no restrictions.
Is the snoring treatment permanent?
While the treatment itself is not permanent, patients generally experience results for approximately 12 months or sometimes even longer. You may only need a “top up” treatment if you find the effects wear off after a while. This may seem annoying to go back, it’s much better than wearing a device at night time (uncomfortable and awkward when sleeping next to someone) or carrying around a clunky device.
The first step
It might be time for you to improve your sleep, increase your energy, boost your relationship and perform even better at work just by fixing your snoring of sleep apnoea! So what’s the first step? Book for an obligation-free consultation with one of our experienced doctors to find out if Nightlase Snoring treatment will work for you.