Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Specialty Physician Associates -  - Ear, Nose & Throat Doctor

Specialty Physician Associates

Ear, Nose, and Throat Doctors & Facial Plastic Surgery located in Bethlehem, Allentown, Quakertown & Wind Gap, PA

Snoring is the top symptom of sleep apnea. When you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops repeatedly while you sleep, which can lead to serious health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. The ENT doctors at Specialty Physician Associates have extensive experience evaluating and treating snoring and sleep apnea using numerous in-office procedures and effective therapies. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call one of the offices in Bethlehem, Allentown, Quakertown, and Wind Gap, Pennsylvania.

Snoring & Sleep Apnea Q & A

What Causes Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

Muscles and soft tissues relax when you fall asleep, including those in your tongue, soft palate, and around your throat. As these tissues relax, they tend to fall toward your throat, where they can cover your airway.

Snoring occurs when the airway is partially covered and the tissues vibrate as air flows through. You have sleep apnea when your breathing stops because the airway is completely blocked by soft tissues.

What Symptoms Develop Due to Sleep Apnea?

Everyone with sleep apnea snores, often quite loudly. However, many patients who snore don’t have sleep apnea.

These are the most common symptoms caused by sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Fatigue during the day
  • Headache in the morning
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom during the night

Every time you stop breathing, your oxygen level drops until your brain nudges you to take a breath. You seldom regain full consciousness during these episodes, so you’re not aware of your snoring or the fact that you may have apnea.

How are Snoring and Sleep Apnea Treated?

Your doctor at Specialty Physician Associates examines your nose, mouth, throat, and neck to determine whether you have any physical issues contributing to the problem, such as a nasal obstruction or infection.

When a physical cause isn’t found, the next step is a sleep study, either at home or in a sleep lab. A home sleep study records your oxygen levels, breathing, and air flow while you sleep, which gives your doctor the information needed to diagnose sleep apnea.

These are a few examples of treatments for snoring and sleep apnea:

  • In-Office Snoring Procedures: The doctors at Specialty Physician Associates perform procedures to stiffen the soft palate and reduce snoring, such as palatal implants, injection snoreplasty, and radiofrequency therapy.
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): CPAP delivers air through a mask worn over your mouth and/or nose. The air creates enough pressure to keep your airway open.
  • Oral Appliance: This device is worn over your teeth like a mouth guard. It’s adjusted to hold your jaw and tongue in a forward position so the tongue can’t block your airway.
  • Surgical Procedures: Several surgical procedures treat snoring and sleep apnea, depending on the underlying cause of the problem, including -
    • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: Repositions or removes excess soft tissue
    • Thermal ablation: Reduces enlarged tissues
    • Septoplasty: Repairs a deviated septum
    • Tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy: Removes enlarged tonsils or adenoids

If someone complains about your snoring or you’re concerned you might have sleep apnea, schedule an appointment online or call Specialty Physician Associates.