Can’t get a good night’s sleep? You may be suffering from sleep apnea, a common disorder that affects as many as 18 million Americans. Although most common in adults ages 40-60, sleep apnea affects people of all ages.
Less severe, but still troublesome for millions of us, is loud or excessive snoring while asleep. To learn more about how our office can help with these problems, explore this page.
Common Questions & Answers
What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a common disorder in which you have one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep. Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They often occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour.
Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound. Sleep apnea usually is a chronic (ongoing) condition that disrupts your sleep. You often move out of deep sleep and into light sleep when your breathing pauses or becomes shallow. This results in poor sleep quality that makes you tired during the day. Sleep apnea is one of the leading causes of excessive daytime sleepiness.
What Is Snoring?
Snoring is a condition where people make noise at night while they’re sleeping. It usually manifests in people as they age, more often in men than in women, but it can happen in either gender. The primary sources of snoring are the areas of the upper airway including the soft palate, the uvula region, the base of tongue, or even the epiglottis (the lid to the voice box). When you sleep, sometimes the airways relax when you breathe in causing them to collapse and fall backward, such as the palate falling backward and vibrating, the tongue falling back or the epiglottis falling backward causing a vibratory noise. Snoring by itself is not a medical condition, meaning it doesn’t lead to other health-related problems, but it can be a social nuisance.
Major Signs & Symptoms
Loud and chronic snorting and grunting while asleep
Choking, snorting, or gasping during sleep
Long pauses in breathing
Daytime sleepiness, no matter how much time you spend in bed
Common Signs & Symptoms
Waking up with a dry mouth or sore throat
Restless or fitful sleep
Insomnia or nighttime awakenings
Going to the bathroom frequently during the night
Waking up feeling out of breath
Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
Avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills
Changing sleep positions to promote regular breathing
Avoid sleeping on your back
If the conservative approaches are not working, you may want to consider surgery, or medical procedures such as a genioglossal advancement, hyoid suspension,somnoplasty, somnoguard, robotic lingual tonsillectomy, UPP or snoreplasty. Consultations for these snoring and sleep apnea procedures are available at any one of our four Central Florida area offices in Winter Park, downtown Orlando, Altamonte and Celebration.
To learn more about these treatments, click below.
AirLift™ lets you sleep and breathe better with one of the most advanced and less intrusive obstructive sleep apnea relief procedures available today.Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) impacts an estimated 12 million adults in the United States. In Orlando, AirLift™ is a new less intrusive and highly effective treatments to open and stabilize upper airway obstruction.
The procedure is less invasive than traditional surgeries which require the removal or cutting of the jaw bone or excising portions of the tongue base, thereby allowing for faster recovery times and less discomfort for patients.
In this surgical procedure, the base of the tongue is pulled forward to increase the size of the airway due to a physical deformity or a sleep breathing disorder. During the procedure a small “window” is made in the lower jaw allowing the surgeon to place an attachment that will pull the tongue forward and down. The procedure is effective at treating obstructive sleep apnea with success rates of above 50%.
This procedure is used to anchor the hyoid bone in place and thus reduce airway blockage that leads to obstructive sleep apnea. The operation advances the tongue base and epiglottis forward opening the breathing passageway. Through a small incision in a skin crease in the upper neck, the procedure detaches two tendons on the upper surface of the hyoid bone and some of the muscle on the lower surface, allowing the hyoid to be advanced over the “Adam’s apple” and secured into position. The procedure can typically completed in less than an hour and the voice remains unaffected.
Inspire therapy works inside your body, and with your natural breathing process, to treat sleep apnea. It continuously monitors your breathing patterns while you sleep. Based on your unique breathing patterns, the system delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles, which keeps the airway open. Discover More
A minimally-invasive, in-office procedure, snoreplasty is used to reduce or eliminate snoring. In snoreplasty, a topical anesthetic is applied to numb the back of the throat. Once numb, a sclerosing agent is injected into the palate, causing the roof of the mouth to stiffen and thus stopping or reducing the fluttering of the palate and reducing or eliminating snoring. The procedure involves little pain, virtually no recovery time and is considered very effective.
Used to treat habitual snoring, somnoplasty removes tissues of the uvula and soft palate using very low levels of radiofrequency heat energy to create “burn-areas” beneath the soft tissues of the throat. As healing occurs, the tissue effectively shrinks, creating more space in the passageway for air and therby reducing snoring symptoms. The procedure is done in an outpatient setting and takes approximately 30-45 minutes to conclude.
A prefabricated, custom-fit plastic device designed to reduce the sound of snoring, SomnoGuard® is used by the wearer at night to lower your jaw slightly forward and create a larger, more stable passageway for air to pass through. The device is FDA approved and covered by most insurances in cases of documented mild or moderate sleep apnea. It can be fit during a quick office visit. Learn more about it here.
Transoral Robotic Lingual Tonsillectomy is a computer-assisted, minimally-invasive procedure to treat sleep apnea, this revolutionary procedure is currently only being performed by our Dr. Jeffrey J. Lehman in the Central Florida area. The leading-edge surgery offers Dr. Lehman imparoved visibility and the ability to move surgical instruments in tight, hard to reach locations while precisely enlarging the lower airway. The end result for patients is severely reduced sleep apnea symptoms with reduced discomfort and a shorter recovery time when compared to the older, open lingual tonsillectomy procedure.
A procedure used to remove excess tissue in the throat, a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) makes the airway wider to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Following surgery and recovery, the wider airway allows more air to move through the throat as you breathe, reducing or eliminating the severity of sleep apnea and some snoring conditions.