Ear Nose and Throat

Sleep Medicine

Receiving a good night’s sleep is imperative to maintaining proper mental and physical health.  Fayetteville Otolaryngology’s physicians are uniquely qualified to evaluate the entire upper airway and to offer a full array of surgical and non-surgical treatment options for your sleep disorder, based on the anatomical site(s) of obstruction.

Poor sleep is a bigger problem than you think.

According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology, 45% of adults snore occasionally, and 20% are habitual snorers. Problem snoring is more frequent in males and overweight people and usually worsens with age.  Snoring may be an indication of sleep apnea and should not be taken lightly.

What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  OSA is characterized by multiple episodes of breathing pauses greater than 10 seconds at a time, due to upper airway narrowing or collapse.  This results in lower amounts of oxygen in the blood, which causes disruption of the natural sleep cycle, which makes people feel poorly rested despite adequate time in bed.  Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night.  Untreated, this can result in severe heart and lung disorders, even death.

How are sleep disorders evaluated and treated?

Fayetteville Otolaryngology’s physicians suggest an initial screening that includes an in-depth medical history accompanied by a comprehensive head, neck and airway examination.  Based on the physical exam results, we may recommend a sleep study.  Sleep studies are painless and monitors brain waves to evaluate breathing patterns, heart rate, oxygen level and muscle movements.  Primary treatment for OSA is CPAP (Continuous positive airway pressure), which is a device worn during sleep, which blows air into the throat, stenting it open, so breathing is re-established.  For patients who fail this modality, surgery is an option.

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