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Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Snoring is a common problem that can be more than just a nuisance to your bed partner. It occurs when the airflow through the mouth and nose becomes obstructed. The causes of snoring can be contributed to many factors, including:

  • Obstructed nasal airways
  • Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue
  • Bulky throat tissue (in overweight people and persons with large tonsils and adenoids)
  • Long soft palate and/or uvula
  • Snoring occurs more frequently in men and tends to increase with age. Occasional snoring is usually not very serious. However, chronic snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition called sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a disorder where a person stops breathing for more than 10 seconds during sleep, often occurring hundreds of times during the night. When this happens, the body's oxygen levels are lowered, causing the heart to work harder and the blood pressure to rise. This can lead to enlargement of the heart, which can eventually cause heart attack and stroke.

Risk factors for sleep apnea include:

  • Family History of Sleep Apnea
  • Obesity
  • A Large Neck or Recessed Chin
  • Smoking, Alcohol Use
  • Certain ethnicities have a higher incidence of developing sleep apnea.

Serious medical problems can be caused by or worsened in a patient with sleep apnea. These conditions include:

  • High blood pressure and other cardiovascular disorders
  • Feelings of depression
  • Morning headaches
  • Impotence
  • Memory problems
  • Nocturia (frequent urination at night)

In addition, there can be other serious ramifications of not getting a good night's sleep. Extreme lethargy can occur during the day, limiting work performance and causing major problems, such as "nodding off" while driving.

Sleep apnea is treatable, and treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and other coexisting conditions. Dr. Paley can evaluate you to determine if the Sinu-Clear™ procedure would be beneficial in treating your particular symptoms. You may need to have a sleep study and a CT scan to assist in diagnosing your condition and determine an individualized treatment plan.