People with sleep apnea stop and restart breathing multiple times while they sleep. This serious sleep disorder affects all ages, including children. The team at Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates provides comprehensive sleep apnea care at their offices in Chelmsford, Woburn, and Concord, Massachusetts, and Nashua and Derry, New Hampshire. To schedule a consultation with the highly skilled team, call the office nearest you or book online today.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that disrupts breathing while you sleep. People with sleep apnea repeatedly stop breathing when sleeping, sometimes hundreds of times.
There are two types of sleep apnea:
With obstructive sleep apnea, the soft tissue in the back of the mouth and throat relax during sleep, blocking the airway. It is the most common type of sleep apnea and affects children and adults.
Central sleep apnea occurs because of a problem involving the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord). People with this type of sleep apnea stop breathing because of a disruption in the signal from the brain to the muscles that control breathing.
Your sleep partner may notice your sleep apnea symptoms before you do. Loud snoring is one of the tell-tale signs. Your sleep partner may also notice that you stop and restart breathing while you sleep.
Other sleep apnea symptoms include:
Sleep apnea symptoms in children are less obvious and may include behavioral changes that affect learning, mood, or energy levels. Children with sleep apnea may also sleep on their hands and knees or complain of difficulty swallowing.
The team at Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates conducts a thorough evaluation when you come in with concerns about sleep apnea. They review your symptoms, medical history, and perform an evaluation.
The ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists closely evaluate the structures of your mouth and throat to look for abnormalities that might contribute to your sleeping issues. That helps determine if you have OSA or central sleep apnea.
They may recommend a sleep study before making a final diagnosis and treatment recommendations.
Treatment options for sleep apnea depend on the type and severity of symptoms. If you have mild OSA, the team may recommend lifestyle changes such as weight loss, changing your sleep position, or taking allergy medication.
For moderate to severe OSA, the team may recommend continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, a mouthpiece that prevents the tongue from blocking the airway, or the innovative Inspire® device.
The ENT physicians may also recommend surgical interventions for OSA, such as:
The team only recommends surgery when less conservative interventions fail to improve your sleep apnea.
To discuss treatment options for sleep apnea, call Massachusetts Ear, Nose and Throat Associates or schedule an appointment online today.