Snoring may be a sign of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is characterized by multiple episodes of breathing pauses and blockage, due to upper airway narrowing or collapse. This results in lower amounts of oxygen in the blood, which causes the heart to work harder.
Treatment is discussed with our Otolaryngologists, breaking down multiple options from nonsurgical to surgical. It is important to define the sleep apnea existence and severity by setting up a sleep study, ordered by our physicians. Nonsurgical options play an important role as first line therapies and should be discussed in full at your appointment at Sonoran ENT. Beyond non-surgical therapies, surgery can be discussed as well, including:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – This is the surgical procedure that involves removal of excess soft palate tissue to open the oral/throat airway. This increases airflow and minimizing tissue vibration. A tonsillectomy is typically added to the procedure if they exist.
- Septoplasty/Turbinate Reduction – This is a procedure that increases the air flow capacity of the nose. This in turn decreases the obstruction in the upper airway.
- In-office Inferior Turbinate Reduction (Celon; Olympus) – The inferior turbinates are folds of tissue on the inside sidewall of the nose that can cause obstruction, and lead to nasal congestion with associated snoring. The Celon bipolar radio-frequency induced thermotherapy (RFITT) can be performed as a quick procedure, with quick recovery, with local anesthesia in office, for almost immediate results and relief. Click HERE for a video example of the procedure.
- Genioglossus and Hyoid Advancement – This is encompasses surgical procedures that prevents collapse of the lower throat and pulls the tongue muscles forward, thereby opening the obstructed airway. This is for a select patient population with obstruction associated with an obstructive tongue or collapsible pharyngeal airway.
Read more about Sleep Apnea