Snoring & Sleep Apnea, Phoenix AZ

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?

Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in a person's throat collapses and the tongue is sucked completely against the back of the throat and blocks the airway during sleep. The blood-oxygen level then drops low enough that the brain signals the body to wake up and gasp for breath.

This happens so quickly that the sleeper usually does not remember it. In a given night, the number of involuntary breathing pauses or "apneic events" may be as high as 30 or more per hour. These breathing pauses are usually accompanied by snoring between apnea episodes, although not everyone who snores has this condition. In OSA snoring, the person appears to catch his/her breath or gasp. Thus they will periodically make a choking, snorting or gasping sound when the airway reopens.

Research has linked sleep apnea to high blood pressure, stroke, drowsiness, heart disease and mood disorders.  Apnea reduces the amount of oxygen available to the body, putting a great deal of stress on the body. 

Shaq attacks Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea Treatment, Phoenix AZ

The first step is a thorough evaluation to determine the specific cause of the snoring or apnea. Through imaging and diagnostic techniques, Dr. Day can determine the best course of treatment. 

In many cases, snoring or sleep apnea can be remedied through non-surgical means, such as:

  • Behavioral changes, (such as sleeping on the side rather than the back)
  • Diet and exercise
  • Dental appliances
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
    (which holds the throat open using air pressure)
  • Medications
If non-surgical methods are not sufficiently effective, surgical procedures may be considered.  The specific course of surgery differs, as the causes of the snoring or apnea can differ from one individual to the next.  Some common surgical procedures to eliminate obstructive sleep apnea include:
  • Nasal airway surgery
  • Tightening of loose tissues
  • Tongue reduction
  • Palate implants
  • Maxillomandibular procedures