Snoring And Sleep Apnea Services
At the Shea Ear Clinic, we understand the disruptive nature of snoring, both to the patient and to family, and work closely with individuals to improve or eliminate this common ailment. We know snoring can range from being a slight nuisance to an extreme bother, truly causing personal and social problems. About 30 percent of men in the U.S. reportedly snore.
What is snoring exactly?
Snoring usually comes from vibration of the soft tissues in the throat. It can be made worse by nasal obstruction from allergies or a crooked wall inside the nose (medically called a deviated septum). Sometimes it is positional, meaning it is worse when a person lies on their back.
Often snoring can be greatly improved by some relatively simple measures including:
- Sleeping on your side.
- Opening the nasal passages with either medication or surgery.
- Oral appliances which can reposition the tongue.
- Office procedures which can stiffen some of the tissues in the throat.
If you or someone in your family is seeking an answer to a snoring problem, we highly recommend scheduling a visit with us. A complete evaluation in the office usually reveals the location of the problem. Over the years, we have helped countless patients reduce snoring by tailoring therapy plans to the individual needs, resulting in a better quality of life.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is another common condition that can lead to other health issues if left untreated. Often, patients know about this condition because family tell them they stop breathing while asleep. Or, during the pauses a patient may start to awaken himself. While between 2 to 4 percent of the population suffers from OSA, many cases go undiagnosed because patients fail to recognize the symptoms. Being overweight can be a contributing factor.
Sleep apnea happens when patients stop breathing momentarily during sleep because of a collapse of the soft tissues in the throat. If these pauses occur frequently and last long enough (usually 10 seconds at a time) then a patient may have a condition known as obstructive sleep apnea. The effects are real including increased sleepiness due to disrupted sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, morning headaches, feeling fatigued and even high blood pressure.
Sleep apnea can be diagnosed with a sleep study and if the patient does have sleep apnea then there are many methods of treatment including:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) which is the use of a machine to help push the air into the throat to keep it open. Some patients do very well with these machines but others find them difficult to tolerate.
- An oral appliance to help pull the tongue and jaw forward during sleep.
- Surgery to help open the nose.
- Removal of the tonsils if they are large.
- Palatal surgery, known as a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), which is trimming of the soft palate.
For over 20 years, Dr. Staffel has been successfully treating patients who struggle with obstructive sleep apnea and snoring, helping restore sleep and overall health. For appointments, call 800-477-SHEA or locally 901-761-9720 or click here to schedule an appointment.