Snoring #5. What can be done about it? A daily series of blogs by Mike Dilkes, ENT-laser.
The retrolingual space remains the key issue in snoring. It's the area at the very back of the tongue and it's hard to see without proper ENT examination kit. We have already discussed how the soft palate and uvula can hang down into this area, blocking it, and how having a blocked nose leads to mouth breathing which slides the tongue backwards, again blocking the retrolingual space. A third cause of obstruction in this area is the presence of large tonsils. In my patients who are snorers this is the single best diagnosis for me, as the outcome with sequential laser tonsillectomy under local anaesthetic spray is excellent. This is very much a lunchtime procedure, where the patient returns to work straight away. Most patients only need simple over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol as it's usually not too sore afterwards.