If you struggle to sleep or experience loud snoring, fatigue, or headaches, an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor may be able to help you sleep better. These symptoms can be linked to sleep apnea, a common breathing and sleep disorder.
Those with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because the airway collapses. A diagnostic sleep study can help an ENT specialist determine the quality of your sleep and diagnose your condition.
Home sleep study
If your ENT physician has determined that you are a candidate for a sleep study, you no longer have to go to a sleep lab. ARC offers a home sleep study kit that lets you test for sleep apnea right from your own bed. The sleep study kit uses a portable device to measure breathing and other health signs while you sleep, with a sensor that stores the results. The next day, you bring the sleep kit back to the office to be analyzed by our Board Certified Sleep Medicine Specialists. The home sleep study offers faster results than a sleep lab from the comfort of home.
Pediatric sleep apnea
Pediatric sleep apnea is most commonly found in children ages 3 to 6 and causes a pause in breathing many times a night, disrupting the child’s sleep. This often leads to daytime hyperactivity, trouble focusing, bed wetting, or other behavioral problems. If your child is experiencing sleep apnea, an ARC ENT specialist can help with a treatment plan.
Surgery for sleep apnea
If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you and your ENT physician may decide that surgery is the best treatment option. Minimally invasive surgery options will result in a faster recovery with no incision, shorter procedure time, and less blood loss. With transoral (through the mouth) robotic-assisted surgery (TORS), your ENT surgeon uses robotic technology, such as the da Vinci system, to perform the surgery, allowing for complex movements impossible to do with only the human hand.
ARC also offers a new sleep apnea treatment called Inspire. Inspire sleep apnea treatment is an outpatient procedure, and the recovery process is short and easy compared to other sleep procedures. You will use a remote to control the device on your schedule. While you sleep, Inspire allows you to breathe normally and sleep peacefully using nerve stimulation. If you are interested in learning more, contact Dr. Caleb Simmons or Dr. Joseph Leary, our two ENT physicians experienced with this procedure.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
People who have OSA stop breathing repeatedly during sleep because the airway collapses. This collapse may be due to a large tongue, extra tissue in the airway, or decreased muscle tone holding the airway open. These factors create an obstruction that prevents air from getting into the lungs. This creates "pauses" in breathing, known as apnea events. For some, these events can happen 30 times or more per hour. When healthy sleep is interrupted in this way, the risk of developing serious health conditions may increase.
What is the easiest way to find out if someone has sleep apnea?
The only way to determine whether or not someone has obstructive sleep apnea is an overnight sleep study. However, there are screening questionnaires that can help determine the relative risk for sleep apnea. Ask your doctor for one of these brief questionnaires.
I've always snored. Why should I seek treatment now?
The presence of snoring alone doesn't mean you have obstructive sleep apnea. Apnea is more specifically defined by the number of times your body fails to breathe while you sleep. Left untreated, OSA has been found to have a negative impact on other areas of your health, including high blood pressure and the risk of stroke.
How do I know what type of therapy I will require?
Based on the results of your sleep study, your physician will determine the best therapy for you. This might include CPAP therapy, pharmacotherapy, or a surgical procedure to correct existing airway obstructions. CPAP therapy is the most common treatment for OSA; CPAP therapy providers will work with you to ensure you have the device that best meets your clinical and lifestyle needs.
There is also a newer therapy, Inspire, available at ARC. Inspire Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation is an FDA-approved obstructive sleep apnea treatment that opens your airway while you sleep without a mask.
How does Inspire sleep apnea treatment work?
A small device is placed using an outpatient procedure, and the recovery process is short and easy compared to other sleep procedures. You will use a remote to control the device on your schedule. While you sleep, Inspire allows you to breathe normally and sleep peacefully using nerve stimulation.
If you meet the criteria for Inspire (diagnosed with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, unable to tolerate CPAP, or not significantly obese), or if you are interested in discussing this more, contact Dr. Caleb Simmons or Dr. Joseph Leary, our two ENT physicians who are experienced with this procedure.
Is CPAP therapy covered by insurance?
CPAP therapy is covered by most insurance plans. You should have your insurance ID card available when you discuss options with your therapy provider. They will be able to provide you with options to ensure you receive the device that best meets your clinical and lifestyle needs.
Is Inspire covered by insurance?
Insurance benefits vary by health plan. We recommend you contact your health plan provider for benefits confirmation.