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Posted by on Jan 30, 2014 in Uncategorized |

Snoring and Sleep Apnea – Evaluation

In our practice, we often see patients with loud snoring at night and other signs of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Many times, the clinic visit is prompted by the significant other or parent who is concerned about the snoring. Sleep disorders are very common and can affect your quality of life as well as those sleeping around you.

There is a lot of advertising these days for quick fixes for snoring and sleep apnea. While some of these treatment options can be effective, there is no single option that will be effective for everyone. That being said, a detailed evaluation and examination can be of the most important step for determining the treatment plan. All of the physicians at Collin County ENT have extensive training in the diagnosis and management of sleep disorders in children and adults.

The initial evaluation will start with a history to learn more about your sleep schedule and other medical problems.  This may include questions about hours of sleep a night, time needed to fall asleep, number of awakenings at night and daytime somnolence. Other important information would include recent weight gain or any sedating medications. A complete head and neck examination is performed with focus on nasal anatomy and appearance of the palate, tonsils, tongue, jaw and neck. We may use a small flexible fiberoptic  camera to help identify areas of the airway that are contributing to snoring and/or apnea.  An overnight sleep study is usually necessary to help differentiate snoring from snoring with sleep apnea.

In children, the history is often enough to make a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea without needing a sleep study. Children may exhibit loud snoring, as well as other symptoms including restless sleep, mouth breathing, daytime sleepiness or in some cases hyperactivity. Their examination may show enlarged tonsils with signs of large adenoids. In most children, tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy can cure their OSA.

There are multiple options for managing snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in adults. As an ENT practice, all of the physicians have advanced training in the surgical management of snoring and OSA. In fact, other sleep centers and dentists refer to us when other treatment options fail. Please check back for our next blog discussing obstructive sleep  apnea, the overnight sleep study and treatment options for snoring and obstructive sleep apnea in more detail.