Source: ENT Health
An estimated one in five Americans have some degree of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a serious health condition characterized by repeated stopping or slowing of breathing due to airway collapse. This can occur hundreds of times while you sleep, reducing your quality of sleep and making you feel tired during the day. Untreated OSA can contribute to high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, workplace or motor vehicle accidents, and significant loss of productivity.
Medical and surgical options are available for the management of snoring and OSA. Medical options include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment, oral appliance therapy, positional therapy, and weight loss. Treatment effectiveness depends on how long and how consistently you follow your doctor’s plan. When medical management is inadequate, well-selected surgical procedures can help reduce the severity of the disorder, support medical therapy, or even lead to a cure.
What Are the Treatment Options?
Nose—Nasal obstruction contributes to snoring, disrupted sleep, and worsening OSA, and can cause medical treatments such as CPAP and oral appliance therapy to fail. Nasal obstruction may be caused by allergies, polyps, a deviated septum, enlarged adenoids, an enlarged inferior turbinate (turbinates are finger-like structures in your nose that heat and moisten the air you breathe), nasal valve collapse, or a high-arch hard palate (the roof of your mouth) with a narrow bottom to your nasal passageway.
First-line medical treatment starts with nasal spray and allergy management. Structural problems like those mentioned above can benefit from surgical treatment. One simple option called radiofrequency turbinate reduction (RFTR) can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. Other procedures are performed under general anesthesia in the operating room, and patients usually go home the same day…