Snoring & Sleep Disorders
As an ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. Rubinstein treats a variety of conditions that occur in this area of the body, such as congestion, allergic rhinitis, a deviated septum, mouth sores, and snoring and sleep disorders. For some snoring can be a minor irritation, while for others it can be a serious problem indicative of obstructed breathing. Snoring and other sleep disorders may require treatment.
45% of adults snore occasionally and 25% snore habitually. Problem snoring tends to worsen with age and is more common among men and those who are overweight. Snoring can be associated with a variety of things including poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue which may worsen with alcohol consumption or drugs that cause drowsiness; bulky throat tissue associated with large tonsils and adenoids in children or with being overweight; a long soft palate and/or uvula; or obstructed nasal airways due to hay fever, allergy, cold, sinus infection, deviated septum or other nasal deformity. Snoring may also be a sign of sleep apnea, particularly if accompanied by episodes of breath pauses during sleep, daytime fatigue, high blood pressure, heart disease or a history of stroke.
Dr. Rubinstein can help you to determine the cause of your snoring after careful examination of your nose, mouth, throat, palate and neck and he will develop an appropriate treatment plan. In some cases, a sleep study may be necessary. Treatment may include Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) surgery; thermal ablation; injection into the soft palate; the insertion of stiffening rods (pillar implants); the use of an oral appliance to reposition the lower jaw; and weight loss.
Pediatric Sleep Disordered Breathing
Snoring and sleep apnea can occur in children as well as adults. Breathing difficulties occurring during sleep are generally referred to as sleep-disordered breathing and these can include such conditions as loud snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Symptoms of sleep disordered breathing in children include loud snoring on most nights which may be interrupted by periods in which breathing is completely blocked. Children with sleep apnea may exhibit daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating in school, hyperactivity, and bed-wetting. Sleep apnea in children is often related to enlarged tonsils and adenoids and is more common in children who are overweight and in children with certain neuromuscular deficits as well as lower jaw and tongue abnormalities. Treatment will depend on the cause and may include surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids (T&A), Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), and additional surgical procedures. In some cases, weight loss may also help. In the U.S., the number of overweight and obese children has doubled over the past two decades. Excess weight and obesity in children can lead to a number of ear, nose and throat conditions including sleep apnea, middle ear infections, and enlarged tonsils which can lead to sleep apnea.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
If your snoring is disruptive to others, if you experience daytime fatigue, if you’ve had episodes of obstructed breathing during sleep, or if you are tired or have headaches in the morning, you may have sleep apnea. The most common and effective non-surgical treatment for sleep apnea is known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP. CPAP works by emitting a strong flow of air pressure through a nasal or facial mask each time you inhale, thus keeping the airway passage open. After careful examination, Dr. Rubinstein may recommend CPAP to treat your sleep apnea.