Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

A Los Angeles ENT Doctor Can Treat Your Sleep Apnea


Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

If you find yourself frequently waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air, you’ll likely find that your professional life suffers because you are drowsy during the day. If your partner complains of your noisy snoring, then your personal life may suffer as well. Noisy snoring followed by pauses in breathing during the night are two classic signs of sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can lead to cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke, weight gain, impotency, memory problems, and headaches. The disruptions in your sleep cycle can also create daytime fatigue, which puts you at risk for a car wreck or workplace accident.

Health experts estimate that 22 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, and a whopping 80% of those cases are either moderate or severe sleep apnea. You likely already understand the impact snoring and sleep disorders have on your life, but you may not be sure if you can nail your symptoms down as sleep apnea.

The most common factors demonstrated in those who suffer from sleep apnea are:

  • Obesity
  • Being Over the Age of 40
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Allergies
  • Weak Chin
  • Acid Reflux
  • Genetics
  • Smoking
  • Drinking Alcohol

When diagnosing your sleep apnea, your sleep apnea specialist in Los Angeles will rely on a vivid description of your symptoms and your health history. If you have someone who has watched your convulsions in your sleep, then their account will also be very helpful to your diagnosis. Your ENT doctor can also narrow down your symptoms to different kinds of sleep apnea, which have different causes. From there, they can start putting together a path for the treatment of your sleeping problems.

Sleep apnea can have many causes, so it also comes with many different forms of treatment. Your treatment options can range from lifestyle changes to surgery; it all depends on what your doctor believes are the causes of your disorder and what treatment will resonate the most. Possible treatments offered by sleep disorder doctors in LA include:

  • VIVAER Nasal Obstruction Remodeling
  • Radio Frequency Uvula & Palate Reduction
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
  • Allergy & Immunotherapy
  • Allergy Mitigation Practices
  • Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction
  • Balloon Sinuplasty
  • Septoplasty
  • Pillar Implant Procedure

Surgery

Your breathing issues could be the cause of a deviated septum; the majority of Americans have a septum that is crooked, but only a few cases cause issues. If your blocked nasal airways are hindering your breathing during sleep, then your ENT doctor in Los Angeles can perform a septoplasty procedure to open your airways and ease your breathing.

Sinus problems should always be considered when diagnosing and treating snoring and sleep apnea. Oftentimes, these issues are interlinked and sinus surgery can eliminate both problems. Balloon sinuplasty performed with Westside Head & Neck is one of the best ways to improve breathing and eliminate snoring. The balloon sinuplasty treatment is an endoscopic procedure where the surgeon inserts a small catheter and sinus balloon into your nasal passage. The balloon widens your sinuses and will have little to no side effects. This procedure is widely popular because it’s over quickly and comes with a short recovery period.

A pillar implant procedure is a minimally invasive procedure where an ENT surgeon in LA inserts three to five fabric implants into the top of your soft palate. Your body’s natural response is to lift and stiff the soft palate, which promotes healthier breathing. Many patients choose this procedure because it takes less than thirty minutes and requires no general anesthesia or sedation in most cases.

Supplemental Devices

Surgery is often a last resort for sleep apnea since it runs the risk of infection, so Los Angeles sleep apnea ENT doctors often suggest purchasing a supplemental device that can help mitigate the effects of your sleep apnea.

The most common sleep apnea device is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. This looks like a mask that goes over the nose and mouth and provides constant levels of pressure to the upper respiratory tract. Using a CPAP machine is a highly effective method for limiting obstructive sleep apnea, but you have to be sure to use it every night in order for it to work.

Supplemental oxygen can help you, as well. Since sleep apnea is caused by the lack of oxygen flowing into your body, using supplemental oxygen can help with central sleep apnea. By delivering oxygen to your lungs while you sleep, your body remains asleep without startling you awake.

Lifestyle Changes

One of the main ways people try to cope with their snoring and sleeping problems is by holistic lifestyle changes. Even if you undergo professional sleep apnea treatment in Los Angeles, your ENT doctor will still suggest that you make a few lifestyle changes.

The first of which is to lose weight. Sleep apnea often occurs in those who are overweight or who carry a lot of weight in their neck area, such as those with double chins. Even the slightest loss of excess weight can reduce constriction of the throat, which is a big cause of sleep apnea. It’s possible that keeping a healthy weight will keep your sleep apnea at bay while gaining weight can cause its return.

Avoiding alcoholic drinks and smoking can also improve your sleep apnea immensely. When you smoke or drink alcohol before bed, your throat muscles relax, which can cause you to momentarily stop breathing.  Smokers are three times more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea than those who don’t smoke.

Adjusting your sleeping position can greatly improve your sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back induces snoring because your tongue and soft palate often rest against the back of your throat, thus obstructing your airway. Staying on your side makes it easier to breathe while asleep. If you find yourself rolling onto your back, there are various commercial devices to purchase to keep you from rolling onto your back.

About Westside Head & Neck

The board-certified ENT doctors of Westside Head & Neck treat all general conditions of the ear, nose, and throat. Every doctor under Westside Head & Neck has extensive training in the treatment of:

Even more serious conditions such as neck, mouth, and throat cancer can also be diagnosed and operated on by ENTs. We accept most PPO insurance plans, Medicare, and select HMO’s to keep hearing, swallowing, and breathing relief open to more Los Angelenos. Our two offices are located in Santa Monica and Culver City. To set up an appointment to discuss your ENT issues with any of our physicians at either location, please call (310) 361-5128 or email appointments@westsidehn.com.


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Head & Neck Cancer


Snoring & Sleep DisordersTreatment Options for Sleep Apnea

  • About Snoring
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Talking to your bed partner

Possible Treatments for Snoring & Sleep Disorders

  • VIVAER Nasal Obstruction Remodeling
  • Radio Frequency Uvula & Palate Reduction
  • Allergy & Immunotherapy
  • Allergy Mitigation Practices
  • Radio Frequency Turbinate Reduction
  • Balloon Sinuplasty
  • Pillar Implant Procedure

Insight into Sleep Disorders & Obstructive Sleep Apnea
45% percent of normal adults snore at least occasionally, and 25% percent are habitual snorers. Males and people who are overweight have a higher percentage of snoring and sleep problems, and their problems usually worsens with age. Snoring may be an indication of obstructed breathing and should not be taken lightly. Our doctors can help you to determine where the anatomic source of your snoring may be, and offer solutions for this noisy, often embarrassing, and possibly dangerous disorder.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is characterized by multiple episodes of
breathing pauses greater than 10 seconds at a time, due to upper airway narrowing or collapse. This results in lower amounts of oxygen in the blood, which causes the heart to work harder. It also causes disruption of the natural sleep cycle, which makes people feel poorly rested despite adequate time in bed. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night.

The immediate effect of sleep apnea is that the snorer must sleep lightly and keep the throat muscles tense in order to keep airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he or she may be sleepy during the day, which impairs job performance and makes him or her a hazardous driver or equipment operator. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea increases the risk of developing heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and many other medical problems.

People who snore may suffer from:Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

  • Poor muscle tone in the tongue and throat: When muscles are too relaxed, the tongue falls backwards into the airway or the throat muscles draw in from the sides into the airway. Some relaxation is natural during deep sleep, but may become a problem if exacerbated by alcohol or drugs that cause sleepiness
  • •Excessive bulkiness of throat tissue: Children with large tonsils and adenoids often snore. Overweight people may have excess soft tissue in the neck that can lead to airway narrowing. Cysts or tumors are rare causes of airway narrowing.
  • •Long soft palate and/or uvula: A long palate narrows the opening from the nose into the throat. The excessive length of the soft palate and/or uvula acts as a noisy flutter valve during relaxed breathing.
  • •Obstructed nasal airways: A stuffy or blocked nose requires extra effort to pull air through it. This creates an exaggerated vacuum in the throat that pulls together the floppy tissues of the throat, and snoring results. So snoring may only occur during the hay fever season or with a cold or sinus infection. Also, deformities of the nose or nasal septum, such as a deviated septum (a deformity of the wall that separates one nostril from the other) can cause such an obstruction.

Why snoring is serious:
Socially – – Snoring can make the snorer an object of ridicule and can cause the bed partner to experience sleepless nights and fatigue.

Medically –- It disturbs sleeping patterns and deprives the snorer of adequate rest. It may be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which can lead to serious, long-term health problems.

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