Dr. Robert Feld of Huntington and Long Island, NY treats snoring and sleep apnea
Robert Feld, MD, FACS, LLC

Huntington Ear, Nose, and Throat Physician
Board Certified Otolaryngology
Adult and Pediatric ENT

205 East Main Street, Suite 2-4
Huntington, Long Island, NY 11743
(631) 673-6868
Dr. Feld of Huntington, NY treats snoring and sleep apnea.

Is a symptom that typically bothers the spouse or companion much more than the patient who is asleep. It is very common in adults with perhaps 40% of the males having this symptom and 25% of females. When young children snore it usually indicates enlarged tonsils and adenoids. The adults snore when the soft palate and uvula vibrate excessively when the throat relaxes in sleep. The back of the tongue may play a role in a small percentage of people. Nasal blockage will make snoring worse. Snoring can be a sign of a more serious condition, sleep apnea.

Conservative measures such as weight loss, avoiding alcohol before bedtime, avoiding sleeping on the back and relieving nasal obstruction are helpful. Treatment for snoring is directed at the back of the throat where the palate and uvula are vibrating. An older treatment procedure involved removing parts of these structures with the laser. We now have methods that are much less painful and very effective. Radiofrequency techniques (somnoplasty) are directed at shrinking and stiffening the uvula and soft palate by gently heating the tissues under the mucous membrane surface. This is performed as an office procedure, usually involving three treatments. There are also procedures to implant Dacron battens (Pillar procedure) within the soft palate to reduce vibration. Snoreplasty involves an injection of medication in the palate to induce deliberate scarring and stiffness. There are dental devices which reposition the jaw forward to reduce collapse in the back of the throat. Each of these procedures can be reviewed with an ear, nose, and throat specialist. The over-the-counter sprays for snoring are unproven and typically not effective.

When a sleeping individual is observed to be struggling for air for 10 seconds or more before taking a breath, this indicates apnea. The brain becomes aroused as the body struggles to breathe and this leads to poor sleep. In adults, excessive weight, shape of the chin nasal obstruction, and narrowing of the posterior throat all play a role in sleep apnea. The patient will often have daytime fatigue, high blood pressure, and even cardiac arrhythmia. Whenever this condition is suspected, a sleep study is indicated. This test involves taking measurements while a patient is asleep. It will determine whether there is apnea, the frequency and the level of hypoxia (lack of oxygen). There may be association with restless leg syndrome and other sleep disorders.

For those patients who test positive, treatment involves the use of a nasal mask and a small quiet air pump to push past the obstruction in the throat. It is quite effective in relieving apnea. Some patients will need a full face mask. Not everyone can tolerate the use of a mask. For those patients surgery is an option. The surgery involves reducing the size and improving the shape of the soft palate. Tonsils, if present, all removed to improve the lateral dimension of the throat. Reduction of the tongue base (somnoplasty) is often combined with these other procedures to further increase room at the base of the throat.

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