New treatment to cure snoring and sleep apnoea

7News Melbourne with Jennifer Keyte

New treatment to cure snoring and sleep apnoea

A Victorian doctor is leading the way in finding a cure for snoring and sleep apnoea.

As obesity levels rise, so too does the number of people suffering from the debilitating condition.

Manuel Paparis is a chronic snorer and his sleep apnoea is so bad, he stops breathing countless times every night.

His condition has taken a heavy toll on his life, suffering from extreme fatigue and sleepiness.

"You feel like you've run a marathon," Manuel told 7News Jennifer Keyte.

The illness has also had an impact on his family.

"I can be two rooms away and I can still hear him," Manuel's wife, Aimee, said. "It's not something you can sleep through."

The procedure, medically dubbed coblation tongue channeling, involves shrinking the muscle bulk at the back of the tongue using a plasma wand and radio-frequency energy, while the patient is sedated.

The specially-designed probe dissolves the tissue and muscle at a low temperature, with almost no pain and discomfort afterwards.

The surgery may either remove or reduce the soft excess tissue, meaning it is less likely the tongue will collapse and block the airway during sleep, effectively curing snoring and sleep apnoea.

In some cases, the treatment can shrink the tongue by up to 20 cubic centimetres.

Up to 50 per cent of snoring and sleep apnoea sufferers fit the criteria for the procedure.

In Australia, snoring and sleep apnoea affects around 25 per cent of adults, and anyone who suffers from snoring, or has a partner who does, knows how debilitating it can be.

Moodiness, extreme fatigue, and physical impairment are some of the milder symptoms, but the condition can be deadly.

"It's a very dangerous problem if it's not treated," sleep expert Dr Glen Burgess said.

"We need to get on top of it so patients don't run the risk of hypertension and cardiac disease.

"It can have a very big impact on the quality of their life and the length of their life."

Electrician Jason Stanes suffered a chronic snoring problem for ten years, but since having the surgery, he says he feels like a new man.

The procedure is currently available in Victoria, New South Wales, Adelaide and Western Australia.

For more information follow the link.