Restful and restorative sleep is key to a healthy, happy and successful life day in and day out. For many of our patients at Bartlesville ENT, problems such as snoring or sleep apnea are preventing a good night’s sleep. As a complete ear, nose and throat clinic, we understand the many repercussions poor sleeping habits can cause. We offer diagnostic and treatment services of common sleep and snoring problems, including care for obstructive sleep apnea. If you’re among the nearly 50% of Americans suffering from sleep apnea or snoring problems, please read through this information and schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable ENT physicians today.
About 45% of American adults snore when they sleep. This common condition is often viewed as an embarrassing nuisance, but is often an indication of a serious medical condition. Snoring occurs when the tongue and throat muscles relax and droop backwards, obstructing the airway. Those who snore may experience daytime fatigue, memory and concentration problems and relationship stress. Lifestyle remedies for quieting snoring include losing weight, sleeping on your side instead of your back and avoiding tobacco smoke and alcohol. If you snore, it’s best to see a physician to rule out a serious medical condition known as sleep apnea.
Many snorers suffer from sleep apnea, a serious medical disorder characterized by interruptions in breathing that occur repeatedly throughout the night, in some cases dozens of times an hour. These pauses in breath are often broken by a choke or gasp for air, but the patient rarely wakes up and may be completely unaware of their condition until a sleeping partner mentions it. The most obvious sign of sleep apnea is chronic, loud snoring; other symptoms include dry mouth, sore throat, and morning headaches. Because sleep apnea interferes with deep and restorative REM sleep, daytime drowsiness often occurs. Patients may experience problems with memory and concentration, irritability and depression. The ongoing struggle for breath taxes the heart; left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to congestive heart failure, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. A sleep study is often necessary for diagnosing sleep apnea: treatment sometimes includes surgery of the nose and/or throat, but most patients are referred for continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.