4 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea & Should See an ENT Physician

4 Signs You May Have Sleep Apnea & Should See an ENT Physician

Are you tired of disturbing a restful night’s sleep for you and your loved ones? Snoring is the result of air not freely flowing through the passage of your throat. The passage can get partially blocked from large structures in your throat or the muscles in the throat relaxing too much during sleep. The throat structures vibrate and rattle when the air passes through causing the familiar sound of snoring. You cannot get a restful night’s sleep without quiet surroundings. Snoring may be why you and your family aren’t getting the sleep you deserve. It may also be a sign of a more serious condition called sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea is when you stop breathing for short periods of time because the throat becomes blocked during sleep. When your lungs aren’t getting enough air, your brain tells your body to wake up just enough to unblock the passage by tightening the muscles. This process may be repeated throughout the night, it can make your sleep light and fragmented. You can feel tired all day even though you don’t remember waking up all night. This condition is associated with high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Here are some signs that you may have sleep apnea:

• short temper and irritability
• waking up tired, and/or with a headache after a full night’s rest
• accidentally falling asleep or feeling very sleepy during the day
• problems with memory or concentration

Testing can be done at home or in a sleep lab to monitor your sleeping habits and to see if you are having a problem.

There are some changes you can make in your lifestyle to help reduce your snoring, Here are a few:
• Sleep on your side
• Avoid alcohol and certain sedative medications
• Lose weight
• Exercise regularly
• Unblock your nose (medications, nasal sprays, etc.)

You can also treat snoring and sleep apnea by using CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) and oral devices. If these treatments aren’t successful, you may need surgical intervention. There are many different sinus surgeries to unblock the sinuses. There is also a UVPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty). This involves removing the uvula, part of the soft palate, and the tonsils from the throat. You will experience a sore throat for a few weeks, but will soon find that the end result was worth it.

Snoring, when sleep apnea can not be documented, may be treated in the office setting. Treatment with a Radiofrequency probe inserted in the palate at strategic locations causes stiffening and shrinkage of the palate. This procedure results in minimal discomfort, but does require multiple treatment sessions.

After your evaluation, Dr. Jones will discuss the options of treatment that are best for you. You will soon be on your way to waking up feeling refreshed after a restful night’s sleep.