Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment
For many of our Boston area patients, snoring and sleep apnea center on a variety of causes including blockages in the nasal and oral airways. These blockages can be due to a deviated septum, or enlarged nasal turbinates, a redundant palate and uvula, and or an enlarged tongue that is too large for the size of the mandible (jaw) and hence collapses into the throat when the muscles relax during sleep.
What Causes Snoring?
When air is trying to pass through a blocked airway it vibrates the tissues and hence makes various degrees of noise ranging from a soft flutter to a lawn mower sound! Some people have a nasal snore, an oral snore, or a combination of both, depending on the location of their obstruction. Furthermore, the lungs have to generate a larger negative pressure in order to bring air in through a blocked airway and this high negative pressure after several years can cause someone to develop pulmonary edema (water in the lungs) and or irregular heartbeat (cardiac arrhythmia) and even heart attacks (myocardial infarctions) during their sleep.
If someone has a deviated septum that blocks their nasal airway, they may undergo a simple straightening of their septum through septoplasty surgery under a light anesthesia. Dr. Petropoulos does not pack the nose after surgery and therefore there is no discomfort associated with this procedure during the healing time. The turbinates in the nose, which are sausage-like pieces of erectile tissue on each side, may also be enlarged and can also block the nasal airway. These too can be painlessly shrunken to a size that will allow easy nasal breathing.
If the soft palate is too long, it hangs down into the back of the throat like a curtain and vibrates causing snoring and also apnea. This unnecessary portion of the palate can be gently trimmed to alleviate the problem. This procedure can be done concurrently with a non-invasive base of tongue reduction via Somnoplasty®.
Last but not least, if someone is overweight, we also put weight on around our throat in the same way we put weight on our tummies and buttocks. This excess fat can also contribute to obstruction of our upper breathing tube (pharynx). We can help!
Improving Your Quality of Life
As part of her Wellness Program, Dr. Petropoulos offers a weight control lifestyle program that meets weekly at her Boston-area practice in the evenings that run for 12 weeks. There have been many success stories. As you know, with the usual diets, our bodies end up burning muscle and fat to get their energy. This program differs from others since supplements are available that channel the body’s energy burning mode to burn FAT ONLY, thus preserving muscle. This is a unique system that is customized for each person’s needs.
Schedule a medical consultation with Dr. Petropoulos to fully assess your snoring and your wellness needs. Please make sure to obtain a referral from your primary care physician if necessary for your associated medical conditions, such as deviated septum, nasal obstruction, airway obstruction, and sleep apnea.
In addition to being a board-certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Petropoulos is also a board-certified otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon). This, together with her experience of over a decade with snoring and sleep apnea treatments, makes her highly qualified to asses and treat your needs in this domain, both surgically and non-surgically.
You will be amazed at the quality of life one can achieve once the quality of sleep is improved. The daytime fatigue is alleviated and one has more energy to enjoy life.