Sleep Apnea Sufferers May Benefit from Sinus Surgery

One of the most common sleep disorders in Las Vegas is sleep apnea. Patients with sleep apnea don’t only experience poor sleep quality; they have a higher risk for a number of physical health complications including heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Patients who can’t tolerate CPAP – the standard treatment for sleep apnea – might benefit from sinus surgery, according to some studies.

Sleep Apnea: The Silent Killer

Woman sleeping on sofa

Sleep apnea occurs when tissues in the back of the throat collapse during sleep, causing an obstruction in the airway. This leads to pauses in breathing and reduced oxygen levels in the bloodstream. Individuals with sleep apnea in Las Vegas usually exhibit chronic loud snoring and may awake suddenly with a gasp or choke. This can occur repeatedly throughout the night – as often as several hundred times in some cases – and the consequences are steep. Patients suffer from daytime fatigue; concentration difficulties; memory lapses; stress and irritability. They may experience a low sex drive and have a higher risk of being involved in an automobile accident. Threats to their physical health include cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes. Personal relationships and job performance are often affected. Sleep apnea is a global health concern that affects around one billion people worldwide.

Symptoms include:

  • Chronic loud snoring
  • Restless sleep
  • Waking up gasping or choking
  • Dry mouth
  • Sore throat
  • Morning headache
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Depression

An Alternative Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The majority of sleep apnea patients benefit from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). They must wear a mask that delivers steady bursts of air throughout the night to keep the airway from collapsing. This does work in most cases, but many patients find it extremely difficult to tolerate the mask. It is often uncomfortable and the noise from the machine can make falling asleep difficult.

Fortunately, recent studies indicate that sinus surgery may be an effective alternative for some individuals with sleep apnea in Las Vegas –those whose condition is the result of problems in the nose or sinuses.

Swelling of the sinuses may be the result of polyps or cysts; when these grow too big, they can block the airway and interfere with breathing. Removing these obstructions via sinus surgery can provide immediate relief for these patients.

The type of sinus surgery will depend on the root cause of your problem and the severity of your symptoms. You’ll likely be a candidate for one of two procedures:

  • Functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS). This procedure involves insertion of a flexible tube mounted with a camera through the nasal passages to remove blockages.
  • Caldwell-Luc surgery. This procedure is less common and more invasive. It involves excising larger growths in the nasal passages.

Not all sleep apnea patients will benefit from sinus surgery, so it’s important to talk to a Las Vegas ENT specialist to determine a treatment plan that will work for you.