Snoring & Sleep Apnea

Our sleep is critical to our health. Unfortunately, people can suffer from broken sleep without ever realizing it. Snoring and sleep apnea are fairly common conditions that cause restless, broken sleep, sometimes without ever fully waking the patient up. The result is difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, concentration problems, tiredness and morning headaches. While snoring and sleep apnea can contribute to a decreased quality of life, they are highly treatable conditions with the expertise of Los Angeles ear nose and throat doctor Shervin Aminpour.

Snoring & Sleep Apnea Causes

Sleep Apnea

There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA) and mixed sleep apnea. Mixed sleep apnea is a combination of OSA and CSA. By far the most common form is OSA.

OSA is caused by relaxation of muscles in the throat during sleep. As the muscles relax, they cause the airway to close. The brain, sensing that it is not getting enough oxygen, signals the body to wake up and take a breath. This waking period is extremely short, often too short to remember it ever happened.

CSA is different from OSA because the problem is not a blocked airway, but rather a problem in communication between the brain and the heart. Normally the brain and heart work together to monitor airflow in order to maintain the correct oxygen level. With CSA the brain does not send a signal to breathe to the muscles responsible for breathing.

This condition is usually present in people with heart disease, kidney disease or cerebrovascular disease (stroke). It can also be caused by sleeping in altitudes higher than about 15,000 feet and the use of opioid pain medication or drug abuse.

With mixed sleep apnea, interrupted breathing is caused both by an obstructed airway and by the lack of signal to breathe.

These are serious medical conditions that require treatment from a Los Angeles sleep apnea doctor. Board certified ENT Dr. Shervin Aminpour specializes in sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment and cautions anyone who suspects sleep apnea to seek medical help. OSA, untreated, can cause more serious medical conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure.

Sleep Apnea May be Hard to Detect

This pattern of waking, falling back asleep, relaxing your throat muscles, and waking again can happen many times per hour, sometimes up to 30 or more. While you may not remember a single instance of it in the morning, it drastically reduces your quality of sleep and can contribute to deterioration of general health.

Sleep apnea is particularly prevalent in people who are overweight. It tends to occur more in men than in women, and the risk increases as you get older. There also is a higher risk for people who have a family history of sleep apnea.

Some actions or existing conditions that have been linked to increased risk of sleep apnea include smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

Snoring and tiredness from little sleep are perhaps two of the most common symptoms of sleep apnea. Snoring does not always mean you have sleep apnea, but a particular characteristic of sleep apnea that occurs during snoring is that often there will be pauses in the snoring, followed by a sort of gasping or choking sound. These are normally done unbeknownst to the sleeper.

Some other symptoms of sleep apnea can include: dry mouth or sore throat when you awaken, frequently waking up to urinate, morning headaches and otherwise unexplainable sleepiness throughout the day. If you feel you may have these symptoms and are looking for a sleep apnea doctor in Los Angeles, contact Dr. Aminpour who can diagnose this condition.

Sleep Apnea Treatment: Los Angeles Specialist Dr. Shervin Aminpour

Treatment of OSA consists of behavior modification strategies such as weight reduction (if overweight), changing sleeping positions from the back to the side or the use of a CPAP device. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device is considered the best non-surgical treatment for OSA, but can be difficult to tolerate. Other non-surgical strategies include the use of a dental devise or mouthpiece to keep the airway open, modifying bedtime behavior and exercise routines.

As a leading Los Angeles sleep apnea doctor, Dr. Aminpour works with his patients to find a solution that can be tolerated. There are surgical options that can reduce the obstruction which causes OSA. Opening blocked nasal airways through a procedure called septoplasty has given countless sleep apnea sufferers relief from this sleep robbing condition.

In adults with CSA, the underlying condition must be diagnosed and treated by a specialist to eliminate the cause of the failure to signal breathing. Successful treatment of CSA requires a multi-disciplinary approach.

Snoring

Snoring is caused when the airflow through the nose and mouth becomes obstructed due to a number of factors, including:

  • Allergies or sinus infection. While many people may never snore, a stuffy nose or congestion can cause snoring.
  • A deviated septum can prevent smooth airflow in the nose, causing someone to snore.
  • Muscle relaxation in the throat and tongue. A very deep sleep, sleeping pills or alcohol consumption can cause this. Aging also causes relaxation of these muscles.
  • Overweight patients can have bulky throat tissue, resulting in obstruction of the nasal airway.

Lifestyle Changes That Can Help

In addition to receiving snoring and sleep apnea treatment in Los Angeles from Dr. Aminpour, there are lifestyle changes that can help to some degree. These include avoiding things that make you sleepy, such as medicines or alcohol, quitting smoking, losing weight if you’re overweight or obese and sleeping on your side instead of your back (this helps keep your throat open).

Call today at (818) 857-5258 to find out how nose doctor Shervin Aminpour can help you handle your sleep apnea and snoring, or read on to find out about his different treatment methods.

Snoring & sleep apnea treatment

There are many treatments for sleep apnea and snoring. Dr. Aminpour wants to deliver the most effective snoring and sleep apnea treatment Los Angeles offers, so he is meticulous about finding the right treatment for you.

Treatment will depend on the exact cause of your snoring or sleep apnea. Dr. Aminpour will first perform a series of examinations to diagnose the cause, allowing him to recommend proper treatment. Dr. Aminpour will recommend one of the following treatment options:

Mouth Guards

As a comfortable device to wear at night, mouth guards represent an immediate solution to sleep apnea and snoring.

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Septoplasty

For patients with a deviated septum that’s causing snoring, a septoplasty can bring effective relief for you and your loved ones.

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UPPP

By reducing the size of the uvula, UPPP opens the airway to provide patients with an easier passage of air, thus providing relief from sleep disorders.

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Tongue Base Reduction

By reducing the base of the tongue, airflow occurs much more easily through the mouth to alleviate snoring and sleep apnea.

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Palate
Procedures

If sleep apnea is related to the palate (roof of the mouth), there are several minimally invasive procedures that can help.

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