Are you finding yourself consistently tired, regardless of how much sleep you have been getting? Is it hurting your ability to focus and starts to show in your work? If so, you could be suffering from the sleep condition called sleep apnea. It is caused by a loss of the normal stiffness of the muscles of the throat, which include the soft palate (roof of the mouth), the back of the tongue and the side walls of the throat. This leads to a collapse of the space within the throat, limiting the flow of air into your lungs throughout the night. Bed partners of a person with this condition become alarmed by the sounds and stoppage of breathing, which cause you to struggle to breathe. As a result, you do not attain the deepest levels of sleep that the body and brain need for proper maintenance of health. There is daytime physical and mental fatigue, inability to concentrate fully, sudden episodes of falling asleep, periods of loud snoring and potentially damage to the heart, lungs, brain and other vital organs.
When you visit our NYC sleep center, Dr. Volpi will assess your condition and review all the options available to help relieve your sleep apnea and improve your quality of life.
- A sleep test performed in the comfort and convenience of your own home is usually necessary to determine the severity of your condition. This test will allow Dr. Volpi to more accurately develop a treatment plan for your particular condition.
- Once the results of the Sleep Testing are available, Dr. Volpi will discuss personally with you a specific treatment plan tailored to your condition and needs, your own preferences and concerns before starting any treatment.
The various treatment options that Dr. Volpi uses to treat Sleep Apnea are listed below:
Non surgical devices may help to reduce patients with snoring and sleep apnea. These include the following:
- Dental devices, known as mandibular advancement splints, are removable mouthpieces placed inside the mouth to physically keep the throat open for better ventilation. This has been shown to be very effective for people with mild to moderate severe sleep apnea.
- Another option Dr. Volpi may suggest is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), a face or nasal mask connected to an air pump. Clean and humidified air flows into your air passages, keeping them open and delivering the appropriate amount of oxygen you require.
- The Provent device is used to prevent the collapse of the airway within the throat. The patient inserts a soft plug into the nose which lets air enter the nose but causes resistance when breathing out through the nose. This prevents collapse of the throat tissues and improves overall breathing.
If these options were tried before or do not effectively deal with the condition, surgical procedures to increase the flow of air through the throat are recommended. Dr. Volpi will individually tailor the particular kind of surgery for the particular nature of your problem.
- The Pillar procedure is minimally-invasive and involves the placement of several small implants into the soft palate. This supports the soft palate and reduces collapse of the palate into the throat. The result is a reduction of palate vibration (which causes the sound of snoring) and obstruction of air flow into the throat.
- UPPP (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) enlarges the passage way of air flow from the mouth into the throat. This increases the flow of air into the lungs while it reduces the turbulent flow of air.
- Somnoplasty and LAUP procedures use heat to stiffen the tissues of the soft palate to prevent snoring and airway collapse at the level of the palate.
- Tongue advancement procedures are designed to alter the position of the tongue and prevent it from blocking the lower portion of the throat during sleep. This procedure is used when the back of the tongue narrows the breathing passages.
- For patients with a Deviated Septum that worsens snoring and sleep apnea, a reshaping of the nasal septum is helpful. This procedure repositions the partition separating the nose into right and left nasal passages; moving a bent septum closer to the middle of the nose restores proper air flow, making breathing more comfortable and reducing the work of breathing. Dr. Volpi may also recommend a simultaneous Reduction of the Nasal Turbinates, which can also cause airway obstruction.
While surgical options provide the prospect of a long-term fix, it is important to note that sleep apnea is a complex condition. During your consultation, Dr. Volpi will explain the benefits of each solution.
Sleep Apnea is a significant and potentially serious medical condition that requires the attention of an Ear Nose and Throat specialist with extensive experience, such as Dr. Volpi. Our office will work to maximize your insurance benefits and help you receive the best treatment option at the lowest possible cost. We are located just East of Central Park on Park Avenue – call us today or click here to schedule a consultation online.