Sleep Apnea & Snoring Center in Georgetown, Texas
The Sleep Apnea & Snoring Center at Georgetown ENT was established to diagnose and treat adult and pediatric patients suffering from sleep disorders. Sleep apnea and snoring are disorders that occur as a result of obstruction in a patient's upper airway (nasal cavity and throat). An ENT physician is a surgical specialist trained to diagnose and treat disorders of the upper airway. Dr. Franklin is an ENT surgeon and board certified in sleep medicine. Therefore, not only can Dr. Franklin diagnose sleep apnea but he is uniquely qualified to offer both medical and surgical treatment options for the patient.
Patients with sleep apnea or snoring complaints are fully evaluated. In office endoscopic evaluations are performed. This helps identify areas of obstruction in the upper airway leading to reduced airflow during sleep. These areas of reduced airflow, if surgically corrected, may potentially resolve snoring or mild sleep apnea.
Over night sleep studies may be performed in our in-office sleep lab. Sleep studies help determine whether sleep apnea is present and to what degree. After patients are fully evaluated, the best treatment option is discussed. These treatment options include CPAP/BiPAP therapy, in-office surgical procedures and outpatient surgical procedures.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person’s breathing stops and starts. It is a potentially serious because sudden drops in the levels of oxygen in your blood can increase blood pressure and strain your cardiovascular system. It can also increase the risk of stroke. Sleep apnea can also cause daytime fatigue and as well as disturbing those around you causing them to become sleep-deprived.
Types of sleep apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea - a common condition that occurs when throat muscles relax.
- Central sleep apnea - occurs when muscles that control breathing do not receive the proper signals from the brain.
- Complex sleep apnea - is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea treatments
When sleep apnea is suspected a physician can provide the appropriate tests and recommendations to treat the condition. Treatments include:
For mild cases of sleep apnea, lifestyle changes that can provide significant benefit include the following:
- weight loss
- stop smoking
Moderate to severe cases
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Utilizes a machine that supplies air pressure through a mask that is placed over your nose while you sleep. This opens up upper airway passages to eliminate snoring and the accompanying stopping and starting of breathing that interrupts sleep.
Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP). This is similar to CPAP but differs in that it uses a continuous positive airway pressure device to automatically adjust the inhaling and exhaling pressure while you are sleeping. Like CPAP, wearing a mask for sleeping is required.
Oral appliances. These are designed to keep your throat open by moving your jaw forward to alleviate snoring and some apnea.
Surgery. Surgery can be performed to remove tissue that vibrates causing snoring or to remove blockages that impede breathing. Procedures can include:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This procedure removes tissue from the rear of the mouth and the top of the throat. Tonsils and adenoids can also be removed during this procedure. This surgery may be successful in stopping the structures in the throat from vibrating eliminating snoring. However, tissue farther down your throat may still block your air passage.
- Maxillomandibular advancement. This procedure includes removing upper and lower parts of the jaw to enlarge the space behind the tongue and soft palate moving the jaw forward. This complex procedure can reduce the possibility of an obstruction and may require both an oral surgeon as well as an orthodontist.
- Tracheostomy. You may need this form of surgery if other treatments have failed and if you have severe sleep apnea. In this procedure, an opening is made in your neck and a tube is inserted through which you breathe. The opening is kept covered during the day but uncovered at night to permit breathing without obstruction.
- Tonsilectomys, adenoidectomys. These procedures can be performed to remove enlarged tonsils or adenoids and may reduce the snoring that contributes to or causes sleep apnea.
- Nasal surgery. This surgery is used to remove polyps or to straighten nasal passages (deviated septum). It can help to improve breathing and contribute to the treatment of sleep apnea.