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Snoring is the hoarse sound that occurs when air flows past relaxed tissues in your throat, causing the tissues to vibrate as you breathe while you’re sleeping according to the Mayo Clinic. You may want to stop snoring because it can be a nuisance to your spouse and other family members. It can also be a symptom of more serious medical issues.
When should I seek treatment to stop snoring?
According to the Mayo Clinic, you should consult your doctor to stop snoring if you have been told that your snoring is disturbing to others, or you experience
- excessive daytime sleepiness or loss of concentration
- morning headaches
- awakening at night gasping or choking, or
- chest pains at night
Your doctor may take your history and perform a physical exam to determine whether you should consult with a sleep specialist to help you stop snoring. A sleep specialist can provide a sleep test to determine if you have sleep apnea and to see if helping you stop snoring will affect your sleep quality.
What are common treatments to stop snoring?
Behavioral modification helps many people stop snoring. As the Mayo Clinic notes, you can try lifestyle strategies to stop snoring such as:
- losing weight if you are overweight
- sleeping on your side rather than your back at night
- avoiding drinking alcohol before you go to bed
- applying nasal strips or an external nasal dilator at night
- getting plenty of sleep (7 -8 hours per night)
The Cleveland Clinic notes that prescribed treatments to stop snoring typically include:
Non-surgical treatments to stop snoring. More than 300 snoring treatment devices have been developed to prevent snoring, including special pillows, dental bites and chin straps. These treatments to stop snoring do not physically correct an underlying anatomical problem.
Laser treatments to stop snoring. An Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) specialist performs laser surgery with a local anesthetic to correct an anatomic cause of snoring by trimming the uvula and soft palate. Laser treatments to stop snoring are usually done in the doctor’s office. A complete treatment to stop snoring consists of one to three sessions of 15 to 30 minutes duration.
Radiofrequency treatment to stop snoring. An ENT specialist delivers radiofrequency energy via an insulated needle to the tissue producing snoring. The needle remains in the tissue for approximately three minutes, during which time hardening occurs. One to three applications at six week intervals may be necessary.
Does Medicare cover treatments to stop snoring?
Medicare Part A covers medically necessary care you receive in the hospital or a skilled nursing facility. Medicare Part B covers many physician, outpatient services, and medical supplies for the treatment of medical conditions. Although treatment to stop snoring is not technically a covered medical issue, treatment for sleep apnea is. People with Medicare Part B who have clinical signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are covered when their doctor orders a sleep study test. Medicare covers only Type I tests if they’re done in a sleep lab facility. Thereafter, Medicare covers a 3-month trial of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy if you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Medicare may extend coverage of CPAP for a longer time period if your doctor documents that this treatment is helping you.
Do you have further questions about Medicare coverage and treatment to help you stop snoring? Or are you interested in learning more about your Medicare coverage options? I am happy to help you.
- To get some more Medicare plan information to review, you can schedule a phone call with me or have me email you plan options. Just click on the “Get Quotes” button on this page.