BOSTON (CBS) – Technology is promising a big breakthrough for people who snore, and maybe some peace for those who are nearby.
A laser system, known as NightLase, was developed in Slovenia and is now being introduced here in the U.S. as way to stop patients from snoring.
Lana Vilbaum is happily married to her husband Dmitry, but his loud snoring was wearing on here nerves. “I’m tired. I’m tired when I wake up.”
Dmitry went through the NightLase procedure and he feels that it has changed his life. “It’s a miracle. It’s a medical miracle. For me it’s a dramatic improvement of life.”
Lana is just as happy with the results. “I think it’s life-changing.”
Dr. Linda Kronick is one of the first dentists in New England using the NightLase system to eliminate snoring.
“The NightLase is an amazing procedure using the laser to tighten the collagen and open the back of the throat to reduce snoring, and treat sleep apnea,” explained Dr. Kronick. “Sleep apnea is caused by tissue being relaxed and flabby in the back of the throat.”
Linda English, recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, came to Dr. Kronick’s office in Bozrah, CT for her first treatment. She said she didn’t feel pain or discomfort from the laser.
Dr. Kronick said that is a typical experience for her patients. “There is no burning. There is not down time. There is no pain involved. There is no need for post op medication.”
English is happy to have an option that doesn’t require any hardware, like CPAP, which helps a sleep apnea patient regulate their breathing. “My husband and I travel quite a bit. I don’t want to have to be plugged into something every night, if I don’t have to be.”
A patient needs three treatments every two weeks. This cycle needs to be repeated every 18 months.
The cost is about $1,000 and isn’t covered by insurance.
Dr. Kronick believes this is an investment with many benefits. “Sleep apnea doesn’t just prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. It affects many other body systems: your cardiovascular; your GI tract; you are putting a lot of other systems at increased risk for disease.”
Many dentists have this laser for use in other procedures, but have not been trained to use the device this way.