Sleep Apnea Treatment
When you think of sleep apnea treatment, do you think of your ENT? You should! Sleep apnea is caused by a narrowing or collapse in the airway that lasts more than 10 seconds at a time. People with sleep apnea literally stop breathing when they sleep.
The constant pauses in breathing results in less oxygen making it into the blood. This means the heart must work harder to deliver much-needed oxygen to the cells. In addition, it interrupts the sleep cycle so a person with sleep apnea wakes up feeling tired instead of refreshed. Even though the apnea event may only last 10 seconds, it can be repeated anywhere from 30-300 times in one night. No wonder people with sleep apnea feel tired and are at higher risk for heart attack and accidents.
Sleep Apnea can be treated in many ways:
Most ENTs start with restoring proper breathing during the day and night. Many times this ends the sleep apnea without the use of any special devices.
The ENT will exam you and may order imaging tests to get a good look at your airways. Your nasal passages (including the turbinates and septum) and sinuses will be examined to make sure they are not causing an obstruction.
If you still have tonsils or adenoids, they will be examined to make sure they are not obstructing your breathing.
The uvula and soft palate will be examined to determine if they are causing an obstruction.
If any of these structures are the source of the obstruction, the ENT will remove the obstruction and restore free breathing. Not only will this help during the night, but you will also breathe better during the day as well.