The Journal of the American Medical Association has an excellent summary of sleep apnea in it’s March 2, 2010 edition.  It reviews the different types of apnea, the different conditions that worsen the condition, and treatment options.

It is worth noting that the more we know about adult sleep apnea, the more we, as ENT surgeons, tend to shy away from “curative” surgeries.  CPAP is the gold standard of treatment based on the facts that it is reversible, adjustable, and painless.  It may not be suitable for all people, however, and that is when the ENT surgeon can provide options to help make the CPAP more tolerable, mainly by opening the airway (primarily the nose).

Children, on the other hand, often have other treatment options.  The vast majority of children can be relieved of apnea with adenotonsillectomy.  For overweight and obese children, weight and lifestyle activities must be addressed.

Please call and ask your doctor if you have concerns about this potentially dangerous condition!

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