Snoring and Sleep Disorders
Primary Snoring is upper airway noise while sleeping. This is usually noticed by the partner during the course of the night. Snoring could be related to nasal obstruction or more serious sleep apnea problems. If deemed that snoring is just upper airway sounds and nothing more, Dr. Karen can suggest medical treatments, ie. weight loss, dental appliances to improve this night time sound, however, if these fail to correct the problem Dr. Karen can perform simple surgical procedures in his office to improve a patient’s snoring problem. These procedures are not covered by insurance but can be paid for as fee for service prior to the procedure. This will be discussed fully at the time of consultation.
More serious obstructive sleep apnea involves collapse of the upper airway during sleep with lack of oxygenation of body’s tissues. Obstructions can be in the nasal cavity oral cavity and deeper in the throat. The heart has to work harder as does the lungs, resulting in long term serious consequences. It manifests as day time tiredness and restless night time sleep. It is diagnosed with an overnight sleep study. The standard medical treatment is the use of a CPAP machine to push positive pressurized air down to the lungs to oxygenate the body. Many people unfortunately do not tolerate the daily use of the machine. Dr. Karen performs surgical procedures depending on the level of obstruction to improve a patient’s ability to breathe at sleep time. The most common obstruction is in the oral cavity due to enlarged tonsils, and redundant throat tissue. A UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) is the standard operation that Dr. Karen performs.