Snoring And Sleep Apnea Center
Snoring, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) & Sleep Apnea
Dr. Daniel Slaughter talks about the different between snoring and sleep apnea and how we diagnose it and how we treat it.
Sinus & Snoring Specialists offer many different treatment options for snoring and sleep apnea. It is important to understand that snoring and sleep apnea are part of the same disease process which includes: snoring, upper airway resistance syndrome, and sleep apnea.
Snoring is on the mild side. Simply said, snoring is resistance to airflow while sleeping that causes noise. This noise will bother the bed partner but otherwise does not affect the patient’s health or sleep quality.
Upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS) is more severe as it also involves snoring but the amount of resistance and noise actually affects the quality of sleep of the patient with arousals and reduced restorative sleep.
Sleep apnea is the more serious issue where there is snoring and also the resistance to the airflow is so significant that there is reduced or complete lack of airflow. These episodes without airflow cause a drop in the blood oxygen and cause a real strain on the cardiovascular system and create a long list of medical issues including hypertension, weight gain, diabetes, cardiac arrhythmia such as atrial fibrillation, heart attack, stroke, dementia, as well as simply affecting your daytime performance with excessive sleepiness.
Why sleep is important
Sleep is critical to our daily function and our overall health. It causes mental and physical repair that allows you to wake up rested and ready for the day. Although snoring is often thought of as a nuisance, it is actually directly related to many serious health conditions. Especially when snoring results in pauses in breathing during sleep called apnea. These are often heard by the bed partner as a break in snoring followed by a loud gasp and a snore.
What can cause disruptive sleep?
Sleep Hygiene plays an important role in reducing snoring and sleep apnea.
- Sleep Position is very important for many patients. Sleeping on your back will frequently increase snoring and apnea. We can offer advice about how to enhance side or prone sleeping. Certain pillow and mattress types can also be quite helpful to reduce snoring.
- Sedative Medications and Alcohol increase snoring and apnea and should be avoided before bedtime.
- Weight Gain tends to increase snoring and apnea. A diet and exercise program can be very helpful and we also work cooperatively with endocrinologists to analyze your metabolism to assist in weight loss.
- Allergy Control from our Allergy Center can reduce congestion and reduce snoring and apnea as well.
Snoring, Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) & Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Sinus & Snoring Specialists in Austin, TX offers many different solutions to treat snoring and sleep apnea. We offer nonsurgical treatments, minimally invasive procedures, and surgical options. The point is that it is not a one size fits all treatment plan and it is tailored to each patient’s anatomical issues and desires. Our state of the art facility combined with more than 20 years of expertise and experience allows Dr. Slaughter to provide a real solution to your snoring or sleep apnea issue. Best of all you DO NOT have to go to a sleep lab to have a sleep study. We have sophisticated HST( Home Sleep Testing ) devices available in our office to allow you to accurately evaluate your sleep in the comfort of your own bed. And you will not be forced into a CPAP as we offer all of the modern techniques all available in our office procedure suite to correct the anatomical issues causing your snoring or sleep apnea.
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure): this form of therapy applies pressure through a mask at night to stent open the airway. It can be very successful but is poorly tolerated by many. Frequently people with nasal, sinus, and allergy issues will not be able to tolerate it because the pressure required to pump air through a closed nose is too high. Our modern balloon sinuplasty procedure combined with correction of any deviation of the septum and swollen turbinates can make the CPAP tolerable and more effective.
- OA (Oral Appliance) Therapy: we work closely with specialized sleep dentists and orthodontists so they can make custom fitted oral appliances in our patients that have large tongues. This helps hold the jaw and tongue forward at night and prevents snoring and obstructive sleep apnea caused by the tongue.
Minimally Invasive Office Procedures
- Balloon Sinuplasty
- Endoscopic Septoplasty
- Turbinate reduction
- Nasal Polyp Removal
- Soft Palate Tightening (UPPP)
These procedures work to address the obstruction in the nasal airway and the throat. The general principle is that nasal and sinus blockage will cause rapid and turbulent airflow as the airflow goes through the nasal airway. This is called the Bernoulli principle.
Anytime flow is forced through a narrow area there will be faster and more turbulent flow just like putting your thumb over a garden hose causes the water to exit fast and turbulent. This rapid and turbulent flow goes from the back of the nose in to the throat and beats the soft palate and uvula like a sail in the wind causing snoring. It will also produce a negative pressure in the back of the throat that will pull the tongue back in to the airway causing obstruction. Nasal blockage also tends to cause an open mouth posture that allows the jaw to fall backwards and enhances the possibility of the tongue occluding the airway.
Balloon sinuplasty, septoplasty, turbinate reduction, nasal polyp removal all enhance the daytime breathing for the patient but they will also significantly reduce the amount of rapid and turbulent air flow and therefore reduce both snoring and apnea.
The UPPP further assists by making the soft palate higher and stiffer further opening the airway and reducing snoring and apnea.
These procedures can be done in combination with each other as a simple office procedure taking about 15 minutes under IV sedation. There is minimal recovery and patients usually can work the next day.
- Tonsillectomy: large tonsils can contribute to OSA and in some cases tonsillectomy is still important to obtain a cure. This is done as a last option as there is significant downtime. It is a simple outpatient procedure.
- Inspire Upper Airway Stimulator Therapy: this novel treatment involves using a pacemaker implanted in the chest to stimulate the tongue to move forward as the patient breathes at nighttime. Typically this procedure is reserved for severe cases of OSA that cannot tolerate CPAP and won’t respond to our other less invasive approaches.
- Maxillary Mandibular Advancement Surgeries: we work closely with Maxillofacial surgeons in cases where the development of the facial skeleton is contributing to sleep apnea. In these cases advancement of the upper and lower facial skeleton can be of great assistance.
Schedule a consultation
If you are experiencing problems related to snoring and sleep apnea, contact our office to schedule a consultation, or visit our sleep apnea or snoring page to learn more.