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A Dream Solution For Loud Snorers

Snore Experts has a new weapon in the fight against sleep apnea. Last month the Encino-based chain of clinics unveiled NightLase, a laser treatment that uses heat to stimulate collagen and regrowth of soft tissue, or the soft palate, in the back of the throat. “For tissue that has gotten loose and flabby, (the treatment is) causing it to get tighter, younger, stiffer, more rigid. Air can flow without vibrations,” said Dr. Jay Khorsandi, one of four main doctors at Snore Experts. The NightLase technology comes from a Slovenian company; Snore Experts applied it to snoring issues and is the only clinic in Southern California to offer the treatment. It costs $2,550 out-of-pocket for patients and requires three sessions several weeks apart, plus a follow-up a year later. The company’s client base is made up of mostly men aged 30 and older. A fair number of sports professionals, including NBA Hall of Famer and former Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal, have been to Snore Experts. One patient coming in for his third NightLase treatment, who Snore Experts preferred remain anonymous, noticed a change after the second session, with hopes that he can avoid sleeping with a mask. “I travel a little bit for work, for a hobby, and packing up an APAP and taking it with me seemed like a burden, putting in the mouthpiece every night,” he said. “If this works, then I won’t have to do any of that.” The sleep aid industry is expected to reach nearly $102 billion in revenue by 2023, according to a P&S Market Research report from 2018. Sleep apnea devices are predicted to be the fastest growing product category in the sleep aids market, with a compound annual growth rate of 7.4 percent. In addition to Encino, Snore Experts has locations in Pasadena, Brentwood, Irvine and a new one in Newport Beach. “The sleep market is booming right now,” said Khorsandi. “We’re positioned nicely in this market, offering services that are unique and advanced.” You can’t die from sleep apnea directly, but patients with the disorder are three times more likely to have a heart attack and four times more likely to have a stroke. When sleep apnea patients stop breathing during night episodes, oxygen levels go down, in some cases as much as 50 percent. “You’re supposed to be above 90 at night, and going down into the 80s, is not good for the brain and the heart; those are the two biggest users of oxygen,” explained Khorsandi. “If it gets to a point one night where it’s really low, the heart says no, we’re done. If that doesn’t happen, then you’re looking at chronic illnesses. If you fast forward even more, you’re looking at neurocognitive decline. Your brain is not getting oxygen for decades.”

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