Snoring/Sleep Apnea

For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. 

As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.

 

Dizziness

The inner ear serves two purposes: hearing and balance. There are mechanisms in the ear that inform the brain about your position, orientation in space and movement and all times — to keep you in balance. A false sensation of spinning or whirling, known as vertigo, can occur when the signal to the brain is blocked or misfires. Read More »

 

 

Ear Infection

The ear is made up of three sections: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Each of these areas is susceptible to infections, which can be painful. Young children have a greater tendency to get earaches. While most ear pain resolves itself in a matter of days, you should get a physical examination to understand the type of infection, prevent it from spreading and obtain treatment to help alleviate the pain. Read More »

 

 

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss has a lot of different causes and manifestations. It can be sudden or gradual. It can occur in one ear or both ears. It can be temporary or permanent. It happens to people of all ages and is associated with the aging process. Before discussing causes and treatments for hearing loss, it is important to understand how hearing works. Read More »

 

 

Mouth Sores

There are a variety of sores that can occur in or around the mouth. Most are benign, but some may be indicative of cancer.Read More »

 

 

Neck Pain

Neck pain is often a result of overuse of the muscles and ligaments in the neck from sports, recreational activities, work or household chores. It is generally characterized by stiffness, a kink or severe pain in the neck, shoulders, upper back and/or arms. Neck pain can also be caused by stress, trauma or injury or may be a symptom of the flu or meningitis. Read More »

 

 

Breathing Problems

The nose serves three primary functions: to warm, humidify and filter air as it passes into the body. Breathing problems may impact one or multiple of these functions. Breathing problems can be temporary or chronic, mild or severe, but they usually increase with age. Read More »

 

 

Snoring/Sleep Apnea

Snoring is a noise produced during sleep that originates in the back of the throat or nose. Snoring occurs when the muscles in the back of the mouth, tongue and throat relax while sleeping, which narrows or blocks the airway. Breathing causes your uvula (soft palate) to vibrate and knock against the back of the throat, resulting in the snoring sound. Read More »

 

 

Sore Throat

Everyone experiences sore throats when they have a cold or flu. But there are other reasons for sore throats that may be symptomatic of more serious problems.Read More »

 

 

Head and Neck Cancers

Most head and neck cancers are relatively preventable since they are highly correlated with tobacco use and alcohol consumption. They are also generally curable if caught early. Symptoms to watch out for include pain swallowing, trouble breathing, ear pain, a lump in the neck that lasts longer than two weeks, a growth in the mouth and bleeding from the mouth, nose or throat.Read More »

 

 

Oral Cancers

Oral cancers appear as red or white patches of mouth tissue or small ulcers that look like a canker sores, but are painless. Oral cancers usually form on the tongue or floor of the mouth, but can occur on any tissue in and around the mouth.Read More »

Snoring is a noise produced during sleep that originates in the back of the throat or nose. Snoring occurs when the muscles in the back of the mouth, tongue and throat relax while sleeping, which narrows or blocks the airway. Breathing causes your uvula (soft palate) to vibrate and knock against the back of the throat, resulting in the snoring sound. Swollen or infected tonsils and adenoids, blocked nasal passages or a deviated septum can also narrow the airway and lead to snoring. Obesity, some medications and alcohol consumption before bedtime may contribute to snoring.

Snoring can also be a sign of a more serious problem, known as obstructive sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, the relaxed muscles at the back of the throat cause the throat to close, which stops breathing, typically from 20 seconds to up to three minutes. Most sleep apnea sufferers experience this cycle of snoring, apnea and awakening five or more times a night. Sleep apnea has a higher incidence among people age 40 and older, people with a family history of snoring and in postmenopausal women.

Because it disrupts the normal sleep pattern, sleep apnea makes you feel tired, slows your reaction time and can lead to confused thinking and memory loss. Other complications of sleep apnea can be high blood pressure, heart attacks, stroke, hypertension, anxiety and depression.

Sleep apnea is diagnosed through a physical examination with particular emphasis on weight, blood pressure and airway constriction in the nose, throat and lungs. In many cases, a sleep test will be recommended at a sleep laboratory. The sleep test monitors 16 different body functions while you sleep and can help identify the exact cause and severity of the sleep apnea.

Simple techniques for alleviating mild apnea are to sleep on your sides (not on your back) and avoid alcohol or sedatives before bedtime. In mild cases, treatment may consist of nasal decongestants, inhaled steroid preparations or oral mouth devices that force the jaw forward to prevent the tongue from falling back and constricting the throat. For more difficult cases, your doctor may prescribe a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). This device straps onto your face and generates pressurized air, which helps keep your airway open during sleep. In severe cases, surgery may be called for to open the airway, including a tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy or deviated septum repair.

If you suffer from debilitating snoring or think you may have sleep apnea, please contact our office and schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.