It’s not hard to imagine this scenario: you’re lying in bed, just about to fall asleep, and your neighbor, in bed, down the hall, or even next door, lets out a big, loud, now-you’re-never-getting-to-sleep snore.
While snoring can often be a nuisance, a more lethal problem can be under the surface, a problem that the Snoring Center in Snider Plaza is on the cutting edge of fighting.
The center focuses on sleep apnea, a potentially serious disorder in which breathing stops and starts during sleep, usually intermixed with loud snoring. While the organization has been fighting the disorder with minimally invasive surgery in seven locations for the last 14 years, its recent steps into the future have put the Snoring Center in the spotlight.
Dr. Schwimmer’s HELPFUL HINTS
Keep these tips in mind before heading to the Snoring Center for help:
- If your bed partner says they’re concerned you stop breathing, gasp, or choke in the night, go straight to the doctor. It’s likely you have sleep apnea.
- Weight loss is the best option for snorers and can vastly reduce snoring.
- If you have heartburn or reflux, keep it under control. It can contribute to snoring.
- Allergies are also a factor and, if kept under control, can reduce snoring.
- Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. It always makes snoring worse.
Earlier this year, the Snoring Center partnered with NextSeed, the first Texas crowd-funding investment platform of its kind, to raise $100,000 of capital in record time.
“Investment crowd-funding is pretty new and not available in every state yet,” said Youngro Lee, the co-founder and CEO of NextSeed. “Some local businesses can’t qualify for loans at all and for business owners who are open-minded and would like access across the state, our platform is an interesting and new way to do business.”
In September, the Snoring Center launched its first crowd-funding investment on the platform. The company, which opened an office in Houston in 2010 and an Austin office in 2012, is looking to grow even further.
“It wasn’t a lot of money but it’s helping us accelerate our business,” said Dr. Craig Schwimmer, the center’s founder and medical director. “We’re looking to add additional locations by licensing physicians interested in our techniques and also reach out into the dental market.”
For snorers who deem the loud and sometimes uncomfortable CPAP mask too invasive, the Snoring Center steers patients to the Pillar procedure, a 20-minute procedure in which small implants are placed in the soft palate, reducing vibrations and snoring.
“It’s very important for someone to come to the Snoring Center even if they don’t have sleep apnea,” Schwimmer said. “Married couples with snoring problems have less sex, argue more, and have a less satisfying marriage. It may sounds like I’m joking, but I’m not.”
In fact, 25 percent of married couples regularly sleep apart, according to Schwimmer, costing one or both partners to lose at least one whole night of sleep each week, or about an hour a night. The NextSeed investment money will help the Snoring Center add to the 45,000 people that have undergone snoring treatment at the center’s locations.
“On the NextSeed platform, you reach so many people who might not know about you,” Schwimmer said. “Those people who wind up investing in your business have a vested interest in your success and can become advocates for you across the state. It raised money but more importantly, it raised awareness.”