Manage Snoring and Sleep Apnea

At Southern ENT Associates, the experienced team of otolaryngologists -- ear, nose, and throat doctors -- can evaluate your snoring and sleep habits and offer solutions. If you live in South Louisiana, call one of the six locations or book online to learn how you can manage constant snoring and sleep apnea to improve your quality of life.

What Causes Snoring?

You snore when you have an obstruction to the flow of air at the back of your mouth and nose. The tissue where your tongue and upper throat meet the soft palate and uvula may become obstructed by collapsed muscles, naturally narrow airways, or due to inflammation from a cold.

Occasional snoring, such as when you have a stuffy nose, is not dangerous. However, if you snore chronically, it could disturb your sleep as well as your partner’s sleep, and it may signal obstructive sleep apnea.

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man laying awake in bed

What is Sleep Apnea?

Short bouts of clogged breathing characterize obstructive sleep apnea. Each episode of not being able to breathe lasts more than 10 seconds and happens seven or more times per hour. You may experience anywhere from 30-300 brief awakenings per night.

You may not be aware that you’re waking this frequently, but it interferes with your sleep cycle and reduces your blood oxygen levels. As a result, your heart has to pump harder, and your muscles stay tense -- which means you never truly relax and get restorative sleep.

What is the Treatment for Heavy Snoring and Sleep Apnea?

The doctors at Southern ENT Associates may refer you to a sleep specialist to evaluate your risk of sleep apnea. They perform a comprehensive exam, a review of your symptoms, and an evaluation of your ear, nose, and throat to determine if your snoring is due to chronic infection, a genetic deformity, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, or a nasal allergy.

The diagnosis informs the treatment plan. Possible treatments may include:

  • Laser-assisted Uvula Palatoplasty (LAUP) which removes the obstruction in the airway
  • In-Office Radiofrequency Ablation of the Tongue, which uses nonsurgical energy to reduce the size of the base of the tongue
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) which tightens loose tissues in the throat and palate and expands air passages
  • Turbinate Reduction, which reduces the size of one or both inferior turbinates – the bony outgrowths within the nasal passages
  • Oral Appliance Therapy which requires you to wear a mouthguard at night to help keep your airway open
  • Tonsillectomy which is the removal of the tonsils and adenoids
  • Septoplasty which straightens the cartilage of the septum, so air passes through your nose more easily
  • Hyoid Advancement which is a surgery that prevents the collapse of the lower throat and pulls the tongue forward to treat sleep apnea
  • Inspire Therapy, which is an implantable alternative to continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, delivers mild stimulation to the nerve controlling the movement of your tongue and other airway muscles

If you’re tired of dealing with heavy snoring and sleep apnea, call Southern ENT Associates or book an appointment online today.

With 6 convenient locations in Southern Louisiana, we make accessing the treatment you need easy.

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