Snoring and Sleep Apnea

Snoring is generally considered a nuisance, especially for the spouse or family members. Dr. Newhart is trained in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.

These conditions are usually associated with upper airway problems. Treatment is directed toward increasing the size of the airway.

Dr. Newhart uses a removable appliance, similar to a retainer, which is comfortable and easy to wear while sleeping. Treatment with this appliance has a very high success rate and usually avoids the need for surgery.

What is snoring and sleep apnea?

Snoring is caused by a narrow airway. The moving air of breathing causes the soft tissue of the throat to vibrate causing the sound of snoring.

Many things can take up space in the airway reducing its diameter including large tonsils, long soft palate, swollen or excessively flabby tissue. The most common cause of a narrowed airway is a tongue that relaxes too much during sleep resulting in a partially blocked airway.

Snoring can be a warning sign of a more serious condition known as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). This occurs when the airway becomes completely blocked. Typically the person stops snoring momentarily and then gasps prior to beginning snoring again. OSA can be life threatening and has been associated with hypertension and heart arrhythmia.

Advantages of sleep appliance therapy.

  • Comfortable, easy to wear and high success rate
  • Only need to be worn while sleeping
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to alternative treatments.
  • There is no surgery required. Surgery has a poor success rate.

Alternative Treatment