NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – If you can’t get a decent night’s sleep because your partner snores, help is on the way.
A simple office procedure that’s been called a facelift for your palate could help, reports CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez.
The flexible part of the roof of your mouth, called the soft palate, vibrates when you snore.
This condition is not the same as sleep apnea, although the two often happen together.
Snoring is the subject of a lot of jokes but it’s no laughing matter. Studies have shown that it’s linked to health risks from high blood pressure and diabetes to even learning disabilities in children who snore.
It’s not just men: About 25% of women snore, somewhat less than the 40% of men.
The sound of snoring can vary, as Diana Ilyazarov demonstrated with her husband’s snoring.
She’s been putting up with Michael’s snoring for almost 20 years which, like most couples, doesn’t really bother him.
“Usually it wakes her first, then she wakes me,” said Michael Inoyatov.
When Michael heard of a minimally invasive office procedure called an elevoplasty, he and Diana went for it.
The developer, Dr. Yosef Krespi, director of sleep disorders at Lenox Hill Hospital, explained why some call it a facelift for your palate.
“It lifts the palate, suspends the palate upwards, opening the airway,” said Krespi.
First, there’s local anesthesia of the palate, then three absorbable sutures are placed along the length of the palate. These sutures have tiny barbs that anchor them and allow Krespi to slightly tighten them to get that palate lift.
Over time a little scar tissue forms to further stiffen the palate.
“It’s not a cure for snoring. It should improve the intensity and the loudness of the snoring,” said Krespi.
“I’m hoping I will have some sleep at night without any interruptions,” said Diana.
After a couple days of a mild sore throat, the results kick in, and studies show that so far it lasts for over a year.
The bad news is that insurance doesn’t think snoring is a medical problem, so it does not cover it. The cost is $2,500.