Snoring may be a simple annoyance, or may be the only symptom of a dangerous problem, obstructive sleep apnea. 18 million Americans have this disorder and only 10% ever get treatment for this life-shortening illness. It can increase your risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimers disease, as well as damage your immune system. Fortunately, snoring and sleep apnea are treatable conditions.
Dr. Seth Evans has extensive experience in sleep apnea diagnosis and both medical and surgical treatment of this disorder.
If you suffer from snoring or sleep apnea, Dr. Evans will identify the problem and explain your treatment options so that you understand them. Surprisingly, even severe snoring may sometimes improve significantly or resolve with topical medical therapy such as nasal sprays.
Some sleep problems are not appropriate for surgical treatment, and Dr. Evans regularly recommends CPAP breathing mask therapy for his patients. However, Dr. Evans is also an expert in office procedures to fix snoring, and adept at the more extensive surgical repairs that are sometimes required to eliminate the worst sleep apnea.
Non-surgical treatments include:
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): CPAP is a medical device typically used to treat sleep apnea. If worn properly, CPAP is an excellent tool to treat sleep apnea and reduce snoring.
- Oral appliances: Mandibular advancement appliances hold your jaw bone forward while you sleep, which helps keep soft tissues out of the airway.
- Treatment for nasal allergies
- Lifestyle changes such as
• Losing weight
• Limiting alcohol and sedating medications before falling asleep
• Sleeping on your side (can use a body pillow to prevent rolling onto your back)
• Elevating the head of your bed
Office-based procedures include:
Injection snoreplasty: A hardening agent is injected into the soft palate, which forms a small blister. As the blister heals and scar tissue forms, the soft palate tightens and decreases vibration or snoring.
Radiofrequency ablation of the base of tongue: This 5 minute procedure uses a probe which is inserted into several spots in the back of the tongue. The probe uses radiofrequency energy (similar to the energy used in a microwave oven) to shrink the tissue in the back of the tongue, which allows more room for air to pass into the throat and windpipe.
Turbinate reduction: A reduction in the size of the nasal turbinates (the small, rounded, bony projections inside the breathing passage on each side of your nose) reduces congestion and improves the flow of air through the nasal airway.
Uvulectomy: The uvula is the soft tissue that hangs from the back of the throat. It can become elongated and swollen in patients who snore frequently. Our doctors can perform a quick in-office procedure to reduce the size of the uvula to help decrease snoring.
Surgical procedures include:
Septoplasty: The septum is the partition that separates the right and left nasal passages. A deviated septum can restrict airflow through one of the nasal cavities and disrupt normal breathing. Septoplasty straightens the septum to improve airflow and decrease or eliminate snoring.
Tonsillectomy: This simple surgical procedure removes enlarged tonsils in the back of the throat to reduce or eliminate snoring.
UPPP: Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is typically performed on patients with sleep apnea. This procedure surgically reduces excess tissue of the soft palate and the uvula. The decrease in tissue volume, as well as the postoperative scarring, significantly reduces both snoring and sleep apnea.
Geniohyoid Advancement Hyoid Myotomy: (GAHM) is a surgical procedure used to treat patients with severe sleep apnea. This procedure helps to permanently move the tongue and the soft tissues around the tongue forward and out of the airway.
Get help for your sleep or snoring problem today. For an experienced and expert snoring doctor or sleep apnea doctor in the South Austin metro area, including Kyle, San Marcos, Buda, and Lockhart, call today at (512) 550-0321 or request an appointment online right now.