Even in the absence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), snoring in and of itself is not only a nuisance to bedroom partners but also poses various health risks to the person snoring, starting with sleep deprivation. Snoring and sleep apnea can both originate in various parts of the body, from the brain through the nose, nasal passage, throat, airway and palate.
One cause of both disorders originates in the turbinates inside the nose. Normal turbinates are tissue massess extending into the nose from the sides, which act to warm and humdifiy the air that we breathe. Swollen or oversize turbinates can cause pressure, congestion, drainage and difficulty breathing. If this is a chronic condition, then it should be treated; that is, the turbinates need to be shrunken down to the point that breathing becomes unimpeded. This can reduce and/or eliminate both snoring and even OSA.
How is this accomplished?
Fortunately, there is a nonsurgical, quick, office-based treatment called Turbinate Coblation. A Turbinate Coblation reduction treatment can help:
- Treat severe or chronic nasal allergies
- Relieve nasal congestion and drainage
- Reduce sinus-related snoring
- Improve breathing
In this in-office procedure, your nose will first be numbed, and then the physician will insert a coblation wand into each turbinate, one by one. The wand uses radio frequency energy to shrink the turbinates. This relieves nasal obstructionn and improves overall breathing.
Coblation-based wands are designed to operate at a relatively low temperature to gently dissolve and/or shrink target tissue with minimal thermal damage to surrounding healthy tissue. The probe actually vaporizes tissues within 0.5mm of its surface.
Thus there are no real side effects to the 20-minute procedure, and the patient can return to everyday, normal activities immediately.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) ran a series of studies on patients who had undergone Turbinate Coblation and concluded:
“Coblation inferior turbinate reduction is an effective procedure for inferior turbinate hypertrophy. The clinical benefit persists at 6 months after the procedure.” Six months are generally the benchmark for permanent success.
If you’re having trouble breathing, or sleeping because of snoring, sleep apnea or other causes, you should seek medical evaluation. Turbinate Coblation may change your nights — and your days — for you forever.