Sleep Apnea & Snoring
Millions of people suffer from sleeping disorders. We successfully treat many of these conditions, including sleep apnea and snoring. Generally, treatment options are not too painful or uncomfortable, but may take some getting used to.
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing, or instances of abnormally low breathing during sleep. Each pause can last from about ten seconds to a few minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more per hour.
Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures, due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. In some cases, the sound may be soft and not too disturbing. In other cases, however, snoring can be loud and unpleasant. Snoring during sleep may also be an early sign of sleep apnea.
In-Office Procedures for Sleep Apnea or Snoring
We offer many proven treatments for problematic snoring and sleep apnea that can be done right here in our office. Please meet with Dr. Kay and find out which procedure(s) may be right for you.
- Soft Palate Coblation is a procedure that can be performed in our office with only a local anesthetic to treat snoring or certain mild cases of sleep apnea. By inserting a needle-like device in the soft palate, Dr. Kay will reduce the overall size and thickness of the soft palate. When healed, the palate will be less prone to vibration, reducing one’s chances of snoring.
- Medtronic Pillar Procedure is a relatively painless in-office procedure also used to relieve snoring or mild to moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Kay will place three tiny woven implants into the soft palate while her patient is under local anesthesia. This procedure only takes about 20 minutes to complete. Over time, the implants, together with the body’s natural fibrotic response, will add structural support to stiffen the tissue and reduce the the vibration that leads to snoring.
- Dental Splints can treat mild to moderate sleep apnea by fitting the patient with a device (similar to an orthodontic retainer) worn in the mouth while sleeping. The stint tightens the soft tissue in the airway to prevent obstruction of the airway during sleep. By tightening the tissue, the dental splint prevents vibrations that causes a person’s snoring.
- Provent Therapy is a painless and non-invasive treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. The Provent Nasal Device utilizes a valve design that attaches over the nostrils with hypoallergenic adhesive. The valve opens and closes as necessary, redirecting the air through small holes to create resistance when breathing out, while allowing the patient to breathe in freely. This increases and maintains pressure in the airway, helping to keep the airway open until the start of the next inhalation.
Surgery Options for Sleep Apnea or Snoring
If the in-office procedures don’t prove to be effective or for more severe cases of problematic snoring or sleep apnea, there are many surgical options available.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UVPPP, is a procedure designed to treat sleep apnea and involves the removal of obstructive tissues that may be found in the uvula, soft palate, tonsils, adenoids, or pharynx. This allows the loose tissue that affects breathing to tighten, leading to reduction in the obstruction of the upper throat. There is a bit of discomfort for a short period after the surgery, but our patients generally snap back into their lives quickly.
- Hyoid Suspension is a procedure performed to treat sleep apnea by securing the hyoid bone in front of the larynx. The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone in the neck which is an attachment point for tongue muscles. This reduction in movement combined with a more strategic placement of the muscles attached to the hyoid bone will reduce a patient’s airway blockage during sleep.
- Septoplasty is a procedure used to straighten the nasal septum. The nasal septum is the partition between the two nasal cavities, which should ideally run down the center of the nose. Breathing can become obstructed and difficult when the septum deviates into one of the cavities. Dr. Kay will make an incision inside the patient’s nostril and remove any cartilage or bone found to cause a blockage in the area. This is generally a quick and relatively painless surgery with no swelling or discoloration to the external nose or face.
- Turbinate Reduction is done to increase the amount of air that can flow through your nose when breathing. The turbinates are responsible for helping us breathe, fighting off bacteria and viruses, and preserving our sensitive olfactory (or smell) receptors. However, large or swollen turbinates may make it hard to breathe. By carefully reducing the size of the turbinates, it may be possible to increase airflow sufficiently enough to resolve any sleeping or breathing disorders.
- Tonsillectomy is the removal of the tonsils. We generally hear about children or young adults having their tonsils removed due to frequent infection, but it can also greatly benefit breathing in cases where the tonsils are simply too large, or frequently become enlarged due to infection. Enlarged tonsils can greatly contribute to sleeping or breathing disorders.