Although they may seem to be minor annoyances, snoring and other sleep disorders can have a big impact on your health. Snoring can also be a sign of a more serious problem, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Dr. Raman Abrol will perform a complete examination and may recommend an overnight sleep test to evaluate your snoring and breathing patterns.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea
- Central Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Recognizing when there’s a problem
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, contact our clinic for a complete evaluation.
- Chronic tiredness
- Falling asleep at the wheel
- Morning headaches
- Leg cramps
- High blood pressure
- significant daytime sleepiness
Snoring occurs when floppy tissue in the airway relaxes during sleep and vibrates. Most snoring is caused by an enlarged soft palate and uvula at the back of the mouth, although the tongue, tonsils, adenoids and congested nasal passages can also contribute to the sound. The level of snoring can be aggravated by excess weight, alcohol intake, hygiene, smoking and poor sleep.
For simple snoring (those who don’t have sleep apnea), there is a minimally invasive, minimal-downtime procedure available at our clinic that has shown very good results. Called radiofrequency treatment of the palate, this procedure shrinks excess tissue to the upper airway, including the palate.
Radiofrequency ablation – done with temperature control – utilizes a needle electrode to emit predetermined energy to shrink excess tissue to the upper airway including the palate and uvula (for snoring), base of the tongue (for obstructive sleep apnea), and nasal turbinates (for chronic nasal obstruction).
When loud snoring is interrupted by frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing, it is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Serious episodes last more than ten seconds each and occur more than seven times per hour. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder.
The immediate effect of sleep apnea is that the snorer must sleep lightly and keep his muscles tense in order to keep airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he may be sleepy during the day, which impairs job performance and makes him a hazardous driver.
After many years with this disorder, elevated blood pressure and heart enlargement may occur. Untreated, OSAS can lead to fatal heart and pulmonary disorders.
The gold standard for diagnosing and managing OSAS is Polysomnogaphy (Sleep study) which at our centre is done under the supervision of Dr Raman Abrol.
The best method to treat OSAS is to use CPAP therapy during sleep for life. However, the compliance with CPAP use is universally poor. The alternatives are the surgical procedures.
Surgical therapy for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome is based on identifying the sites of airway obstruction which may include the nose, soft palate and tongue. The procedures that are effective in clearing specific areas of blockage include methods to remove or reposition tissues that partially or completely block the upper airway during sleep.
Various surgical techniques are used to improve the upper airway at the three levels of possible obstruction (nose, palate & base of tongue). These are nasal reconstruction (nose), uvula palatopharyngeoplasty (UPPP), (soft palate) mandibular osteotomy with genioglossus advancement, hyoid myotomy and suspension, and maxillomandibular advancement.