Can an ENT doctor treat sleep apnea? In simple words, sleep apnea is a sleep-related condition characterized by pauses between breaths greater than 10 seconds. This usually happens due to the narrowing or collapsing of the upper airway. These changes in the upper airway reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood, causing your heart to work harder for correctly performing its function.
Untreated OSA can contribute to problems like sleepiness and exhaustion during the day and health issues such as stroke, heart disease, blood pressure, etc. If you’re wondering whether an ENT specialist can help you out, be sure to visit Dr. Michael C. Burnett, MD.
An ENT Doctor Can Treat Sleep Apnea in Many Ways
A variety of lifestyle changes can help you with sleep apnea. These may include losing weight or working to achieve lower blood pressure. However, you might also want to see an ENT doctor to treat it professionally. This is crucial to avoid any serious health risks.
Different medical specialists such as dentists, psychiatrists, neurologists, and pulmonologists can diagnose and pinpoint risk factors for OSA. However, an otolaryngologist or ENT doctor may be best able to diagnose and treat your condition. ENTs specialize in treatments for issues relating to the ear, nose, and throat.
During your sleep apnea diagnosis, your ENT specialist will also look for other associated conditions, including nose or septum deformities, throat issues such as tonsils, allergies, obstructed nasal airways, soft palate or uvula, and upper respiratory infection.
If any of the structures mentioned above cause your condition, the ENT doctor will clear the obstruction to restore easy breathing.
While ENTs can most definitely treat Sleep Apnea, here is how they tackle different issues:
Often, the septum may not be straight, leading to breathing problems. An otolaryngologist can perform septoplasty to straighten your septum for breathing correction.
In some cases, patients have enlarged turbinates that contribute to sleep apnea symptoms. ENTs can reduce the size of your turbinate tissues in the nose with the help of radiofrequency energy.
ENT specialists are also trained professionals that can remove sinuses and polyps in the nose. They can also remove tonsils and adenoids and reduce uvula and soft palate tissues for better breathing. Your ENT might also perform a balloon sinuplasty if a sinus obstruction is causing your sleep apnea.
The CPAP treatment is one of the most effective methods for treating OSA. Your ENT doctor might give you a CPAP treatment along with recommendations for lifestyle changes. These may include increased physical activity and tracking your calorie intake.
However, CPAP can largely help reduce your symptoms and tackle your issue of obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP treatments involve using specialist CPAP devices during nighttime to keep your airways open. Your ENT will provide you with this nasal mask to ensure restful nights without apneas and snoring.
In some cases, a CPAP treatment Is not enough to treat obstructive sleep apnea. If your OSA condition is too extreme, your ENT specialist might recommend you to undergo a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty operation.
This surgery is rather extreme yet very effective at correcting the apnea problem. Usually, obstructive sleep apnea results from an obstruction in soft tissues. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP involves the removal of this obstructive tissue to clear the airways.
Your ENT doctor might remodel or remove the soft tissue in your throat. Sometimes, patients also undergo tonsillectomy for removal of tonsils or adenoids.
ENT Doctor & Sleep Apnea: Conclusion
We hope that the information provided has addressed any questions regarding how ENTs can treat sleep apnea. Without treatment, sleep apnea can lead to serious conditions like heart disease and extreme breathing difficulties.
If you are looking for an experienced ENT in NYC, visit our health institute to book your appointment with one of the best ENT specialists. Dr. Michael C. Burnett, provides compassionate and comprehensive care for sleep apnea patients. You can book your appointment in person or give us a call at (212) 867-4813.