Why Do We Snore?
People snore when the airways are obstructed or when tissues have a vibration. The most frequent cause of snoring is a vibration of the soft palate against the velopharynx. It’s not always the soft palate though, it can be the tongue, uvula, tonsillar pillars, or other areas. When you sleep, the muscles relax in your body, including the muscles in your neck and throat area. Relaxation decreases how much space you have in your airways, which can sometimes lead to snoring. Like strings vibrating from a guitar, when the tissue vibrates, it creates a noise.
What Causes Snoring?
Factors that can contribute to someone snoring is that there is too much tissue in the throat and nasal areas. Therefore, weight gain is often connected to snoring. Many people who never snored in the past will begin to do so when they put on a few pounds. Gaining weight can add to the weight of your neck, which presses down on the throat during sleep.
Bad posture when you are sleeping can narrow your airway. But a simple readjustment like going from your back to your side or raising your head slightly may reduce snoring. Other causes include a tongue that slides back in your mouth and narrows the airway, regular consumption of alcohol or tobacco, allergies, or nasal obstruction. This could possibly be due to an issue with the nasal septum, which separates your nostrils. Snoring can also be a clue that someone has sleep apnea, although they aren’t always linked. Even pregnancy can cause neck tissues to swell. Speaking to one of our providers here at Vinn Hospital can help you pinpoint your specific cause and figure out a treatment plan. After all, don’t you want to improve your sleep and your romantic relationships?
What Is the Pillar Implant Procedure?
The pillar implant procedure, rods made from a medical mesh are inserted into the tissue of the soft palate. These rods may be tiny (only about 0 .7 inches long and 0.08 inches in diameter) but they are strong.
This procedure can be done right in our ENT office with local anesthesia. It is minimally invasive so there is minimal discomfort and minimal recovery time.
How the Pillar Procedure Works
The pillar procedure adds strength to the soft palate. It is inserted in the area between the soft and hard palate providing a bridge giving added support to the soft palate.
Additionally, as the tissue around the pillars heals it also becomes firmer and more resistant to vibration.
The procedure can be performed in one visit. Since we aren’t removing or abrading tissue the discomfort is minimal. Most people return to their regular activities and diets right after the procedure.
You won’t need to worry about swelling in the face and your voice will sound normal. Your friends won’t know you had the procedure unless you tell them. But your bed partner will soon notice the difference. Some people see an immediate difference, the full effect usually isn’t achieved for about three months.
Is Snoring Surgery Right for You?
If you are sick and tired of feeling tired or you are keeping your significant other up at night, then it is time to talk to one of our ENT providers about snoring surgery. The pillar implant procedure may be all you need for everyone to get a good night’s sleep.