Sleep Apnea

West Shore ENT & Allergy

Otolaryngology & Allergy Specialists located in Norton Shores, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Fremont, & Ludington, MI

Sleep apnea is a common sleeping disorder that affects the quality of your breathing while you sleep. The condition affects more than 18 million Americans, both adults, and children. The team at West Shore ENT & Allergy in Norton Shores, Grand Haven, Fremont, Ludington, and Muskegon, Michigan, has experience diagnosing the exact cause of your sleep apnea and providing appropriate treatments to help you breathe better. Call the office or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment today.

Sleep Apnea Q & A

What causes sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a severe form of snoring that blocks your airways and stops your breathing for many seconds at a time throughout the night.

Although it self-corrects and you begin to breathe again, continuous episodes of not breathing lead to lower amounts of oxygen in your blood. This puts a lot of strain on your heart as it works harder to compensate for lower oxygen levels.

What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?

Patients with sleep apnea are usually deprived of sleep. Along with being constantly sleepy, you can experience:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Decreased productivity
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Learning and memory difficulties

Chronic sleep deprivation also leads to serious long-term health issues like an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, depression, heart attack, and stroke.

How is sleep apnea treated?

If you think you have sleep apnea, your doctor can suggest a sleep study to observe your sleep patterns and diagnose your condition. The sleep study measures things like sleep state, heart rate, muscle activity, airflow, and blood oxygen levels to determine if you have sleep apnea and how bad your case is.

After your diagnosis, your doctor can prescribe a range of treatments:

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)

A CPAP machine is a mask that fits over your nose and mouth and delivers a constant flow of airway pressure to your throat to keep it open while you sleep.

Oral appliance

Your doctor fits you with a customized mouthpiece that repositions your jaw and increases the size of your airway.

Thermal ablation

Your doctor uses a type of laser therapy to selectively destroy tissues that are blocking your airway.

Surgery

If you’re not responding to other treatments, your doctor could suggest some minimally invasive surgery to treat your sleep apnea. These include injection snoreplasty or pillar implants, both of which work to stiffen the soft tissue in your airway to reduce the vibrations that result in snoring.

Genioglossus or hyoid advancement are other surgical options that work by pulling your tongue muscles forward and opening blocked air passages.

Sleep apnea can have serious consequences, so if you’re suffering from this condition or think you might be, call West Shore ENT & Allergy or use the online scheduling tool to make an appointment.