Outpatient Erbium:YAG (2940 nm) Laser Treatment for Snoring: A Prospective Study on 40 Patients

Fini Storchi I, Parker S, Bovis F, Benedicenti S, Amaroli A.
Lasers Med Sci. 2018;33(2):399-406. doi:10.1007/s10103-018-2436-6

Snoring is a sleep phenomenon due to the partial upper airway obstruction during sleep which causes vibration of the tissues of the rhino-oro-hypopharynx and less frequently the larynx. This study evaluated the use and effectiveness of the erbium:YAG 2940-nm laser as an adjunctive in providing treatment for patients suffering from chronic snoring-related sleep disorders. A prospective study of 40 consecutive patients with snoring and sleep disorders was performed, assessing data before and after three Er:YAG laser treatment sessions. During laser treatment, the pain was almost absent. There were no side effects, except a very mild sore throat in 1 out of 40 patients. The patient’s evaluation of satisfaction of the results obtained after the treatments showed that 85% of cases were very satisfied, 5 patients (12.5%) reported being fairly satisfied with the treatment and only 1 subject (2.5%) was not satisfied. Mallampati, Friedman Tongue Position, and degree of O (oropharynx) at nose oropharynx hypopharynx and larynx classification were significantly decreased after the laser sessions. The decrease of Epworth Sleepiness Scale and Visual Analogue Scale for loudness of snoring, waking up during sleep because of snoring, dry mouth on waking, and choking was all statistically significant. The incidence of dreaming during the night also raised significantly; 30/40 (75%) of cases perceived less tightness in their throat and better breathing after treatment. These results were stable at 20 months follow-up (14–24 q) in 72% of cases. Nonsurgical and non-invasive Er:YAG laser treatment demonstrated to be a valid procedure in reducing the loudness of snoring.

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