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Can a 20-Minute Procedure Really Help Snoring?

Inventive individuals have searched for snoring solutions for many years.  A lot of interesting and ineffective anti-snoring contraptions and gizmos have been created in an effort to stop this universal problem.  Still, millions still suffer from sleep deprivation due to snoring and a more serious related condition, sleep apnea. (Image suggestion: old fashioned anti-snoring device)

Snoring occurs when airflow is obstructed at the back of the nose and and mouth. The violent movement of air through this area and vibration in the throat causes the sounds associated with snoring.  Factors such as nose and mouth anatomy, nasal congestion, and alcohol consumption affect airflow during sleep. For example, those with a thickened or floppy soft palate snore because the soft palate relaxes during sleep, blocking the airway.

If the blockage is severe, as with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a lack of oxygen causes the brain to wake the individual from sleep to resume the flow of oxygen.  Breathing can stop for a brief period before the snorer is awakened, or the individual may be partially roused many times throughout the night, preventing the sufferer from achieving sound sleep.

Previously, those who suffered from sleep apnea had just a few choices: have surgery or use the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device (CPAP).  While most people will try anything before submitting to the lost time, pain, and expense of surgery, many sleep apnea sufferers stop using CPAP devices because of their discomfort and inconvenience.

An alternative to surgery and CPAP, the Pillar Procedure has revolutionized sleep apnea treatment since its approval by the FDA in 2002. This minimally invasive office procedure stiffens the soft palate with the insertion of tiny, woven implants that keep the airway open during sleep.  The entire procedure only takes about 20 minutes and has minimal impact on day-to-day activities like talking and eating.

Most patients who have had The Pillar Procedure experience an improvement in their symptoms within just a few weeks, although it may take up to three months to enjoy the procedure’s full benefits.  The Pillar Procedure’s creator, Medtronic, Inc., reports the following results from their clinical studies:

  • Approx. 80% of patients were found to have sleep apnea improvement
  • Patients enjoyed a significant decrease in the intensity of their snoring
  • Patients reported less daytime sleepiness
  • More than 80% bed partners reported improved satisfaction

Why not become one of the many satisfied patients who have benefited from The Pillar Procedure? It only takes 20 minutes to enjoy better sleep!  For more information and to make an appointment, contact the Snoring Center today!

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