It’s no surprise that snoring is to blame for not getting enough sleep at night, but it can also signal sleep apnea. For some, snoring is just an annoyance, but for many, it’s a sign of a serious medical condition known as sleep apnea. Those who suffer from sleep apnea experience pauses in breathing throughout the night, and may make a gasping or choking sound along with their snoring. Snoring and sleep apnea can be dangerous, but are also treatable.
In addition to disrupted sleep, there are quite a few hidden dangers of untreated sleep apnea. The condition is closely tied to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and an increased risk of accidents. It is also linked to daytime sleepiness, irritability and depression.
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) treatment is well known and is often the first option prescribed. Some patients are hesitant to seek treatment because they assume that bulky masks and intrusive machinery are their only option. Fortunately, there are now several user-friendly treatment options available that can minimize your snoring and alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea.
The Pillar® Procedure
The Pillar Procedure is a minimally invasive treatment option that can be completed in around 20 minutes. There is little discomfort associated with this process and you can resume normal activities shortly afterward. The Pillar Procedure uses small implants that are woven into the soft palate which stiffens it, reducing your snoring. Results are generally experienced within a few weeks.
This minimally invasive procedure utilizes radio frequency energy to stiffen the soft palate, thereby reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea and snoring. Palate Coblation takes less than 30 minutes and is performed in-office, using local anesthesia.
Coblation Turbinate Reduction
Swollen turbinates inside of your nose can lead to congestion, snoring, and difficulty breathing. The coblation turbinate reduction process shrinks your turbinates, providing clear air passage. This treatment option is quick and is performed in-office, with a short recovery time.
The laser-assisted uvuolpalatoplasty procedure is minimally-invasive and provides relief from the symptoms of snoring and sleep apnea. An enlarged or elongated uvula is shrunk, and excess tissue is removed, using laser technology. The entire process usually takes fewer than 30 minutes and is performed using local anesthesia.
If you are seeking a non-invasive treatment option for your sleep apnea, CPAP machinery is not your only option. Oral appliances are custom-fit devices that may reduce your snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. These treatment devices either depress your tongue or force your lower jaw forward, allowing more air in. They are easy to travel with, and combat sleep apnea right away.
Additional Treatments for Snoring and Sleep Apnea
There are several additional treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea. These may be recommended, based on the underlying cause of the condition, which differs from person to person. Treatments such as a tonsillectomy or hyoid suspension are typically performed in an inpatient setting. Endoscopy sinus surgery and septoplasty are generally performed as outpatient procedures.
Seeking Treatment and Finding Relief
If you think that you may have sleep apnea, it is important to get evaluated. A board certified otolaryngologist (ENT doctor) can diagnose the cause of your snoring and prescribe treatment. Living with untreated sleep apnea is not only unnecessary, it’s also harmful to your health.
The board certified otolaryngologists at eos sleep perform of the state-of-the-art treatment procedures for sleep apnea. They’ll partner with you to determine why you are snoring, if you have sleep apnea, and which treatment option will work best for you. Both your lifestyle and the root cause of your snoring will be considered. To get started, simply contact us using our secure web form. We will help you book your appointment and start you on your path to quieter, more restful sleep.