Snoring is a very common symptom. There are estimated to be 9 million people in Canada who are snorers. Surveys indicate that 20-25% of the adult population are habitual snorers many of whom are men over the age of 40 years.
Unfortunately most people are not aware snoring can be successfully treated. Snoring can be a concern for a number of reasons. It is socially disruptive to family life, causing sleepless nights for others.Snoring can also disrupt normal sleep of the snorer, preventing restful sleep.
More seriously it may be associated with a potentially serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea.
The advanced technology of the carbon dioxide laser
This office is equipped with a state- of- the- art Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Laser. The CO2 laser is ideally suited to treat tissues of the throat and tonsillar area. Procedures that used to require hospitalization can now be done in the office – thanks to this laser technology. Laser assisted treatment of snoring is such a procedure.
The best technology available has been selected, and in the hands of Dr. Korkis and his specially trained staff, a troublesome problem can be resolved.
Why do people snore?
Modern understanding of the different phases of sleep has pinpointed the abnormal narrowing of the back of the throat as it is the main cause of snoring. In the majority of instances, the tissues of the palate, uvula and tonsils relax during the deep phases of sleep, resulting in abnormal narrowing. The narrowing due to relaxation as well as the excessive bulkiness of these tissues causes them to vibrate noisily and thus, produce snoring.
Why is sleep apnea dangerous?
Sleep apnea is a condition where loud snoring is interrupted by periods of completely obstructed breathing. If this occurs too frequently during the night, it can result in depressed Oxygen levels to the brain and heart, sometimes, with fatal effect. Also, this oxygen deprivation disrupts normal restful sleep resulting in diminished performance and alertness on the job, or worse, while operating a motor vehicle.
Dr. Korkis is a certified ear nose and throat specialist, can advise you if you are at risk of this condition and may recommend additional testing if required.
What are the current treatments for snoring?
Snoring treatments to date are based on the presumption that snoring can be “unlearned “. Those cures vary widely ranging from sawing a tennis ball into the snorers pajama back to electric shock devises to give the snorer an unpleasant jolt or the use of CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine that involves strapping a mask over the nose and connected to a compressor. Other options include the use of a custom made Dental device to pull the tongue and its neighboring tissues to the front or Surgical treatments such as the UPPP, Radio-Frequency energy or the Laser treatment (laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty) etc…
What is snoring laser treatment?
Laser for Snoring is a safe treatment that is an effective treatment carried out in Dr. Korkis’s office using local anaesthetic. The patient remains fully awake and sitting upright on a comfortable chair. After the area has been treated with local anaesthetic, the specially designed CO2 laser is used to ablate the uvula, trim and reshape the excessive tissue. Dr. Korkis’s modified own technique renders the need of only one session to achieve the goal of the treatment in the great majority of patients. However, occasionally, a second treatment may be required after 6-12 weeks. The treatment takes approximately 10-15 minutes.
What are the benefits of laser surgery?
Laser snoring treatment itself is painless. However once the local anaesthetic effect dissipates , a sore throat with discomfort on swallowing of varying intensity occurs which commonly last anything between 7-14 days and is managed by suitable pain pills given before and after the treatment. We normally conduct the treatment in the evenings so that our patients would have attended their work that day and that the majority of them get back to work the next morning. The major benefits of laser surgery when carried out by a trained and certified surgeon such as Dr. Korkis is…It works! Patients report an immediate reduction in snoring with progressive improvement. In the carefully selected patients , approximately 85% of patients snoring is cured . An additional 12% report a satisfactory reduction in the level of snoring.
Who can say if laser treatment is best for me?
Possession of a laser is only a small part of the overall diagnosis and treatment program for snoring. As a certified ear nose and throat specialist with advanced training in laser surgery, your initial consultation with Dr. Korkis will determine if you can benefit from this treatment. Additional tests may be required especially if obstructive sleep apnea is suspected. Only adults can be treated with laser surgery, If Dr. Korkis, using his professional judgement and in consultation with you feels you will benefit from this treatment, an appointment can be scheduled at your convenience.
Will OHIP cover the treatment?
Your initial consultation with Dr. Korkis is covered by OHIP. Any additional studies required to investigate obstructive sleep apnea are also covered by OHIP. However Laser treatments are not an OHIP benefit. Dr. Korkis and his staff can provide you with complete details and the cost of this procedure.