For snorers who have not been able to find any other remedy, laser treatment for snoring is often a last resort.
There are several pros and cons to laser treatment… but the good thing about it is that it tends to be a more permanent solution.
But choosing the right surgery isn’t easy. You need to know what you’re dealing with, and you need to know what types of treatments tend to work the best for specific snoring issues.
What This Article Is All About?
So in this post, we’re going to explore both of the laser treatment for snoring options for people who live in Australia.
Let’s dig into it!
What Options Do I Have in Australia?
There are basically two different laser treatment options for snoring in Australia.
- The Laser-Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty, or LAUP
- or Laser Snoring Treatments, such as NightLase or SleepTight.
These two are actually quite different, and I will explain why.
LAUP is actually a surgical procedure that uses a laser, while NightLase and SleepTight are non surgical snoring treatments.
Let’s go over both of these options in greater detail.
What’s the difference?
Surgical Laser Treatment for Snoring
LAUP, also known as Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty, is a surgical snoring procedure that utilizes what is known as a fractionated CO2 laser.
LAUP actually stands for Laser assisted Uvula Palatoplasty, and is a treatment that is used to treat snoring.
How Does It Work?
During this surgical procedure, a small hand-held laser is used.
Small incisions are made to specific parts of the soft palate and uvula.
This may take several small procedures to complete, depending on the patient… but they are normally performed under local anesthesia, at a doctor’s office.
The more ‘touch ups’ you get, the better it tends to work.
You may need more than one session in order for LAUP to work effectively.
Are There Side Effects?
Thankfully, no. In some cases, people suffer from a sore throat for about a week. But that tends to be about the worst of it.
How Effective Is It?
The good news is that LAUP is actually pretty effective.
According to this study, it shows an 84% cure rate, with 7% of patients reporting ‘significant improvement in the loudness of their snore.’
The bad news about this particular surgical treatment is that it is really only effective when an excessively large or flopping soft palate/uvula is the culprit.
If your tongue is the primary cause of your constricted airway, as can absolutely be the case in some instances, this procedure is unlikely to work.
It is also true that non-surgical options, such as NightLase, are actually more common and readily available nowadays.
NightLase is considered by many to be superior to LAUP in most cases… so there are far more clinics in Australia that are offering that than are offering LAUP nowadays.
LAUP is, in truth, a bit of a dated procedure… but it is still one that is performed regularly, and it still works!
Where to Get It In Australia
There are a few notable clinics where you can get this treatment performed in Australia. Here are some of the most well-known clinics.
Nonsurgical Laser Treatment for Snoring
How Does It Work?
NightLase is a type of laser snoring treatment that is fast, non-invasive, and patient-friendly.
It can be used to treat not only snoring, but also sleep apnea… which makes it superior to LAUP surgery in a lot of cases.
It is performed through the use of a gentle, superficial Er:YAG laser light.
It requires no anesthesia, there is no downtime after the procedure, and it requires no needles!
Best of all, it actually works.
Are There Side Effects?
The great news is that there are usually no side effects with NightLase.
In some cases, the patient can experience a minor sore throat after the procedure… but that’s about it.
How Effective Is It?
According to this study, patients reported an 85% improvement after the third treatment, 61% after the second treatment, and 51% after the first treatment.
Where to Get It In Australia
- In Sydney: https://www.specialistaustralia.com.au/specialties/snoring/
- In Brisbane: http://www.brisbanesnoring.com.au/snoring-laser-treatments/
- In Perth: https://www.azuremedical.com.au/treatments/nightlase-laser-snoring-treatment-cottesloe/
- In Adelaide: https://www.adelaidehealthandbeauty.com.au/nightlase
- In Cairns: https://skinalertcairns.com.au/laser/snoring/
Does Laser Treatment for Snoring Work?
This is definitely the biggest question, and it deserves a solid answer.
Now, there are several different snoring treatments available… and the confusing thing about online research is that a lot of laser treatment information is outdated.
Simply stated, laser treatments for snoring have come a long way in the last 20 years.
So, let’s take a look at one example of a modern solution, offered in Australia.
The SleepTight Laser Procedure, offered by Specialist Clinics of Australia.
The awesome thing about this program (which is virtually identical to NightLase) is that it has a success rate of over 90%! It is also one of the few laser treatment programs to show improvement in symptoms for sleep apnea in addition to snoring… and that is actually a big deal!
A lot of snoring treatments don’t even help with sleep apnea.
So yes, laser treatments do work… but you need to do your research and think carefully about where you are going to get them, and you need to make sure that you are getting a laser treatment that has a proven track record of results.
Cost of Laser Treatment
Laser treatment costs are a little bit complicated in Australia. Different treatments obviously have different prices, and not all providers list the prices for their treatments online.
In some cases, the only way to know for sure how much a laser treatment will cost is to book a consultation.
But in some cases, you can learn the prices online.
As an example, you can take a look at the Brisbane Snoring official website.
This clinic is located in Brisbane, and they use a unique laser technology. They are said to be ‘one of Queensland’s leading snoring specialists,’ and offer an anesthetic-free laser treatment for snoring that is said to have a ‘high success rate.’
The technical name for this treatment is NightLase.
According to the website, one session of NightLase snoring therapy costs $700, including GST. Or, you can get a package of three sessions for $1,640.
You can also get Medicare rebates, and Health Care Card holders and pensioners will also get a $100 discount.
This is a pretty good example of how much a laser treatment for snoring can cost.
The cool thing about this particular company is that they have a success rate of 80% with NightLase! Which is not bad at all, to be honest.
Laser Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty, on the other hand, costs about $2,000-$3,000. This includes the surgery, the anaesthetic, and other day surgery charges. So it tends to be at least twice as expensive.
Is the Laser Treatment Worth the Money?
Laser treatment for snoring is not usually covered by insurance… which can make it difficult to afford if you don’t have the money!
But is it worth it anyway?
Let’s look at the numbers for a moment.
It will cost you about $1,640 to get three sessions of NightLase. Three sessions is recommended, as you may not experience enough of a benefit with one or two sessions to make it worth the time.
But what is the cost of not getting your snoring treated?
Snoring Related Problems
Snoring can cause a number of frustrating problems. And some of these problems can have a real, detrimental effect on your life.
For example… snoring can cause marital or relationship problems by keeping your partner awake. If your snoring is too loud, you may drive your partner to sleep on the sofa… and that isn’t necessarily good for anyone.
But snoring can also affect your own health and well-being… not just the well-being of your partner.
Snoring, by itself, is not such a big deal. But obstructive sleep apnea, which is commonly associated with snoring… well, it is a big deal!
Let’s talk about that for a moment.
Does Snoring Mean I have Sleep Apnea?
Snoring does not necessarily always indicate a sleep apnea problem.
But snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea!
Here’s how to know the difference.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the soft palate relaxes, ‘collapses in,’ and ‘blocks’ the airway during sleep.
During these periods of time, the individual will stop breathing.
When the brain realizes that breathing has stopped, it will send out a signal to ‘wake up’ the sleeper, in an attempt to start the breathing process again.
But, this little episode does not actually ‘wake.’ the sleeper. It wakes them up just enough to get them to tense up their throat and ‘gasp’ for air. But they rarely even realize that it happened, even though the event (called an apnea) pulled them out of REM sleep.
And therein lies the real danger.
Sleep apnea can put you at an increased risk for sleep deprivation, in addition to a whole slew of other problems.
How to Know If You Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Here are some of the most common obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.
- Pauses in breathing during sleep (witnessed by someone who is awake)
- Daytime fatigue and excessive sleepiness
- Restless sleep
- Waking up gasping or choking for air
- Morning headaches
- Having difficulty concentrating during the day
- Suffering from chest pain during the night
- Loud snoring
- High blood pressure
If you suspect that you may be suffering from OSA, it is actually really important that you talk to your doctor.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can put you at an increased risk for all kinds of different health problems, including…
- An increase in your risk for car/vehicle accidents due to daytime drowsiness
- More frequent frustration, anger, mood-swings, etc.
- Heart problems and high blood pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Sleep deprived partners
Sleep apnea can absolutely be dangerous… so it is imperative that you talk to your doctor if you are afraid that you might be suffering from it!
What Are the Alternatives I Can Consider?
Laser treatment for snoring is obviously one way to deal with snoring and/or sleep apnea. But it certainly isn’t the only option.
There are a number of alternatives that you can consider as well.
For some people, the idea of a surgical option, even one that isn’t invasive, is just too much.
For those people, an anti-snoring device might be a better option!
Let’s take a look at some of the most common, popular, and effective alternatives to laser treatment for snoring.
A Mandibular Advancement Device
An MAD is a snoring mouthpiece that you use while sleeping. It helps to shift the lower jaw forward, thereby creating more room in the upper airway.
Mandibular Advancement devices have a pretty proven track record… but you do need to use them every night in order for them to be effective.
Some people also criticize them for being ‘difficult to get used to.’
A TSD (Tongue Stabilization Device)
A TSD, also known as a TRD (tongue retention device) is another anti-snoring mouthpiece that you place into the mouth before going to sleep.
But unlike an MAD, the TSD helps to get rid of snoring by pulling the tongue forward and keeping it out of the back of the throat.
Sometimes, the tongue can block the airway during sleep… and this can absolutely cause snoring.
TSDs are a bit less invasive than MADs, but do not always work quite as well.
CPAP Therapy, which also stands for ‘continuous positive airway pressure,’ is a type of therapy where you use higher air pressure to keep your airway from ‘closing in’ while sleeping. It is the most common treatment for sleep apnea, and actually works really well.
The main downside to CPAP, however, is that it is pretty invasive. You need to wear a mask that fits perfectly, and if you don’t wear it every night, it doesn’t help you.
There are also an entire range of other anti-snoring products on the market that can also help you. Some of these include…
- Snoring pillows
- Nasal dilators
- Nasal strips
- Essential oils
- ‘Smart devices,’ like the Smart Nora
- Anti-snoring chin-straps, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Laser treatment absolutely works for snoring.
However, it is also important to understand that you will probably need more than one treatment in order for it to work really well.
And even then, there is a chance that it may not work all the way!
The best way to find out for sure if this is the right choice for you is to talk to your doctor.
You can also help yourself by going to a clinic with a proven track-record of results. Not every clinic is equal!
And as a general rule, NightLase seems to really be the way to go in most cases… so make sure to check that option out while you’re shopping around for potential treatments.
The best way to permanently get rid of snoring is either through surgery, or through lifestyle changes.
Lifestyle changes actually tend to give you the best bang for your buck… but they take time.
Some examples of lifestyle changes that work the best for getting rid of snoring include losing weight, quitting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking.
Sleeping on your side instead of your back can also be surprisingly effective.
The big downside to lifestyle changes, of course, is that they are not a ‘quick fix.’ Not everyone wants to quit drinking alcohol. Cigarettes are super-difficult to quit.
And losing weight can take months, if not years!
So for some people, snoring surgery is actually a lot more viable… and it can help more in the short term.
NightLase can cost close to $1,700 for three treatments.
This might seem like a lot, but when you compare it to Laser Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty, on the other hand, you find that LAUP actually costs quite a bit more… somewhere in the ballpark of $2,000-$3,000.
Surgery is certainly not the cheapest option. But it is more permanent than using devices, and it is faster than lifestyle changes.
For those reasons, some people may be more interested in it than in the idea of using devices.
This is a complicated question. So, Laser Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty tends to work really well for snoring… but the success rate for obstructive sleep apnea is undetermined. In fact, LAUP has even been observed to, in some cases, make sleep apnea worse!
NightLase, on the other hand, has been clinically proven to decrease not only snoring, but also the effects of sleep apnea.
So if you have Sleep Apnea, your best bet is to go with NightLase… not LAUP.
Hopefully, this post has given you the information you need to make an informed choice about laser treatments for snoring.
We strive to provide accurate, helpful information in our blogs. But keep in mind that there is really no substitute for talking to your doctor!
Asking your doctor about your snoring problem is the best first-step toward getting it sorted out.
But the most important thing to remember is that snoring is not something to ignore.
A lot of people shrug snoring off as a ‘little problem’ that doesn’t really require anyone’s attention.
But in truth, it can be a lot more dangerous than most people realize… especially if it is allowed to turn into obstructive sleep apnea.
So talk to your doctor, buy a device, look into laser treatment, or whatever it is that you decide to do.
But the key thing to do is to take action.
Do not let life pass you by as you put up with snoring and suffer the often invisible effects it can cause in your life.
Laser treatment for snoring can be a fantastic way to solve the problem. Just talk to your doctor, though, and get the ball rolling!