Snoring and Sleep Apnea

man snoring

What is Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is an episodic obstruction of the upper airway during sleep. It affects up to 7% of men and 5% of women, occurs in all ages and becomes more frequent with age.

These obstructions result in:

  • Habitual snoring
  • More labored breathing
  • Decreased blood oxygen saturation
  • Poor sleep satiation
  • Excessive sleepiness during the day
  • Decreased cognitive abilities
  • Falling asleep at inappropriate times
  • Decreased sex drive
  • Depression

In children, sleep apnea has been linked to:

  • Attention deficits
  • Frequent nocturnal awakenings
  • Bed-wetting
  • Irritability

Because it reduces oxygen levels in the blood, people suffering from sleep apnea can experience morning headaches, night sweats and abnormal rhythms. Chronic sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure, congestive heart failure and sudden death.

Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

Risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Tonsil and adenoid enlargement
  • Malocclusion
  • Genetics
  • Alcohol consumption

Diagnosis and Treatment

Sleep apnea is diagnosed by a thorough medical history, a physical exam and a sleep study (polysomnogram). Treatment can include weight loss, noninvasive devices such as oral appliances and continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines and surgery.

Surgical procedures performed at SWIENT include:

  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
  • Septoplasty
  • Turbinate reduction
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplast (UPPP)
  • Base of tongue reduction
  • Genioglossus and tongue advancement
  • Hyoid myotomy and suspension
  • Maxillary and mandibular advancement (Bimax advancement)
  • Tracheotomy

Our surgeons have great working relationships with the diagnostic sleep specialists, dentists and oral surgeons in the community. We coordinate care with them in order to optimize treatment.

To learn more about sleep apnea and treatment options, contact SWIENT.