Snoring is a fairly common, affecting 40 percent of men and 25 percent of women. Not only is snoring a nuisance, but 75% of people who snore have obstructive sleep apnea (when breathing is disrupted during sleep for short periods). Studies show that around 80% of the obstructive sleep apnea cases go undiagnosed which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and diabetes in adults.
All snorers with any of the following symptoms should be evaluated for possible obstructive sleep apnea:
- Witnessed episodes of breath pauses or apnea during sleep
- Daytime sleepiness or fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- History of a stroke
At Advanced ENT & Allergy, we offer several different options to help obstructive sleep apnea:
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the frontline treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP therapy keeps your airway open during the night by gently providing a constant stream of air through a mask you wear while you sleep. This eliminates the breathing pauses caused by sleep apnea, so you will no longer snore or make choking noises in your sleep. You will be able to sleep through the night without your body waking up from a lack of oxygen.
A new procedure that we offer is called Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation. Inspire therapy is a breakthrough implantable treatment option for people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea who are unable to use or get consistent benefit from Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). While you’re sleeping, Inspire monitors every breath you take. Based on your unique breathing patterns, the system delivers mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve which controls the movement of your tongue and other key airway muscles. By stimulating these muscles, the airway remains open during sleep.
The Inspire obstructive sleep apnea device is controlled by a small handheld sleep remote. The remote allows you to turn Inspire therapy on before bed and off when you wake up, increase and decrease stimulation strength, and pause during the night if needed.
Other options include: Removing soft palate tissue, cauterization to shrink and tighten the tissues in and around the throat, septoplasty which straightens a bent or deviated nasal septum, surgery to pull tongue muscles forward or a custom fit oral appliance.