Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that occurs when the body is deprived of oxygen for periods of time while an individual sleeps.  This decrease and occasional lack of oxygen to the heart and brain during sleep can make the heart work harder and may contribute to early heart failure, daytime fatigue, mental fogginess and many other health conditions and symptoms.

One of the most common symptoms and indications that sleep apnea may be occurring is the presence of snoring.

Snoring occurs when the soft tissues of the throat and upper airways vibrate during sleep. Frequent snoring is extremely common, occurring in 44% of males and 28% of females between 30 and 60 years of age. Occasional snoring occurs in practically everyone.

Unfortunately, though, routine, loud snoring often indicates obstruction or resistance in the upper airways as seen with OSA. Snoring and OSA are frequently associated with conditions that narrow the upper airway, including obesity, chronic sinus and nasal congestion, structural abnormalities of the face, acromegaly, hypothyroidism and enlarged tonsils. In these situations, the treatment of snoring is directed at the condition causing the obstruction. Snoring can also occur in the absence of any condition known to increase upper airway resistance.

In addition to lifestyle modifications, other therapies can reduce snoring and other symptoms of sleep apnea.

  1. Surgery – If the cause of the snoring and OSA is determined to be structural, for example enlarged tonsils, surgery is often an effective treatment and one we provide here at our ENT office. Surgeries for snoring and OSA include tonsillectomy (the removal of the tonsils), reduction of turbinates (tissue inside the nasal passages), palate reduction (tightening the soft palate), and Radiofrequency Ablation of the Tongue (shrinks and tightens the base of the tongue).
  2. Oral appliances – Oral appliances (OA) keep the upper airways open and unobstructed during sleep by advancing the mandible, changing the position of the soft palate, retracting the tongue, or a combination of these mechanisms. This in turn helps people breathe better during sleep which in turn decreases snoring. They are indicated for mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea and usually when lifestyle or other therapies fail to work or are not appropriate. OA are highly effective when used properly and regularly. They can be custom made by a dentist, prosthodontist or oral surgeon.
  3. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – CPAP are currently the most effective and widely used treatment for sleep apnea but also the most cumbersome. Also, they may not significantly help if there are structural issues such as enlarged tonsils.

If you or a loved one, including a child, snores loudly and regularly, sleep apnea may be present. We’re here to help, call us today for more information.

Dr. Meyer & the staff at ENT Specialists in Appleton are wonderful! They eased my daughter's anxiety while having tests done. Very friendly and knowledgeable.

— Kelly F.

Very good experience with a very professional, detailed and caring practice. They took the time to diagnose the issue, and took no time at all to start treatment. I would recommend this practice to everyone!

— Heather S.

Dr. Keller was thorough and listened to my concerns, he did a complete exam and offered options to procced with types of treatment. I was pleased with the appointment. Again he listened to what I was saying, some doctors don't have that skill.

— Warren D.

Great service! The audiologists in Neenah and Oshkosh truly care about a client with hearing loss. They take the time to provide individualized hearing loss education and also provide excellent follow up support after selling hearing aids. Highly recommended!

— Matt B.

Great staff. The location is easy to find. Very accommodating and well organized. Would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Mjaanes and his staff.

— Douglas K.


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