Sleep Conditions & Treatments in Savannah, GA

Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat specializes in sleep treatment, such as sleep apnea and snoring. We partner with companies such as Watermark, Encore and Siesta Medical to diagnose and treat these conditions. Call us at (912) 355-2335 for more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Oliver.

Conditions and Services

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person’s breathing stops and starts and they can’t get proper sleep. It is a potentially serious because sudden drops in the levels of oxygen in your blood can increase blood pressure and strain your cardiovascular system. It can also increase the risk of stroke. Sleep apnea can also cause daytime fatigue and as well as disturbing those around you causing them to become sleep-deprived.

Types of Sleep Apnea

  • Obstructive sleep apnea – a common condition that occurs when throat muscles relax.
  • Central sleep apnea – occurs when muscles that control breathing do not receive the proper signals from the brain.
  • Complex sleep apnea – is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Learn More

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which a person’s breathing stops and starts. This can lead to increased blood pressure and strain your cardiovascular system. It can also increase the risk of stroke and fatigue. For serious cases of obstructive sleep apnea, surgery may be necessary. There are two forms of minimally invasive surgery to treat sleep apnea:

Hyoid Suspension

This procedure involves securing the very flexible hyoid bone by connecting it to the thyroid cartilage (adam’s apple) and moving around the tongue muscles and tissues surrounding it.  The procedure is done under general anesthesia and Dr. Oliver will make a small incision in the upper neck area, usually an easily concealable spot, detaches some muscle and tissue and inserts a device to help secure the hyoid bone.

Multi-Level Tongue Suspension

This procedure involves stabilizing the tongue using a suture loop within the tongue, anchored to a screw without having to create penetrations through the mucus layer of the tongue.

The Siesta Medical Encore Suspension System

The company we’re partnered with is Siesta Medical. Their Encore device is one of two approved tongue suspension systems in the United States. Encore is equipped to do either procedure, or both if necessary.

Recovery from Sleep Apnea Surgery

Recovery – Many patients need 1-2 days of supervised recovery. 
Pain Management – There is some pain associated with this surgery and so you will be prescribed medication. Pain goes away usually two weeks following the surgery.
Ear, Jaw and Throat Symptoms – You may notice discomfort or swelling in the ear, throat and jaw.
Sleeping Habits – Your sleeping habits may need to change after this surgery for a few days. This includes elevating your head while sleeping.
Nausea and constipation – It’s very common to experience these symptoms after the surgery

Our ENT specialists are highly trained in diagnosing and treating upper airway obstrictions.

According to The American Academy of Otolaryngology, about 45 percent of adults snore occasionally. Though snoring can affect anyone, it is most common in men and people who are overweight. Snoring once and awhile is perfectly normal, but snoring on a regular basis can disrupt both your sleep patterns and the sleep patterns of those around you.

Snoring is caused when air cannot flow through the back of the throat and the nose freely. The obstruction causes the noisy, vibrating sounds of snoring. The air flow can be obstructed for a variety of reasons, such as:

The Anatomy of your Mouth – Anatomical reasons, such as a low palate, poor muscle tone in the throat, poor muscle tone in the tongue and narrow airways can cause snoring.

Obstruction of Nasal Airways – About 20 percent of people who snore only snore during allergy seasons or when they have a cold or sinus infection. Having a deviated septum, swollen turbinates or nasal polyps can also cause the nasal airway to have an obstruction.

Alcohol Consumption – Drinking alcohol before sleep can relax your throat muscles and decrease your defenses against airway obstruction.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea – OSA is the most serious cause of snoring. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is when airway obstruction during sleep results in short periods of time where the snorer stops breathing. OSA is often linked to sleep deprivation, heart attack, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.

Oral Appliance Therapy to treat Snoring

The FDA recognizes this method to treat snoring. It involves putting a custom-fitted device in your mouth at night to help open up your airways naturally overtime, restricting the tongue from collapsing by holding the lower jaw. We are partnered with 1st Line Medical’s Somnoguard. The device is in two pieces and is adjustable to be custom fit to any patient. It brings the lower jaw forward which brings the tongue and muscles surrounding it to move forward as well, opening up your airway.

Pillar Procedure to treat Snoring

The Pillar Procedure is only 20 minutes and is done under local anesthesia. It aims to stiffen the soft the pallet, which is believed to be the source of snoring for 80% of people. This is done by placing small implants into the pallet which strengthens it overtime, reducing the vibration of the tissue that causes snoring. It’s a good alternative for people who don’t want to wear equipment to bed. Watch the video below to learn how the Pillar Procedure works: 

Dr. David Oliver diagnoses sleep apnea by testing your sleeping habits in the comfort of your home. There are a few variations to sleep studies; Multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) which measures how long it takes you to fall asleep. It also determines whether you enter REM sleep.
Maintenance of wakefulness test (MWT) which measures whether you can stay awake during a time when you are normally awake. The last test is a Polysomnogram which records internal body functions during sleep.

What is being Recorded for a Home Sleep Test?

There are many factor that contribute to sleeping issues. The most valuable pieces of information include brain activity, blood oxygen saturation, pulse rate, airflow, snoring levels and eye movement. There’s no way for you to know these pieces of information while you sleep, so taking a test may be crucial for diagnosing your sleep apnea or other relates issues.

How is this Information Recorded?

Coastal Ear, Nose & Throat partnered with Watermark Medical and use the Apnea Risk Evaluation System (ARES™). The device is equipped to read this information. For instance, a nasal cannula which you place in your nose is connected to a pressure transducer, an accelerometer detects movements during the night and an acoustic microphone can detect snoring volume. The device is highly technical and can capture all the information needed to detect obstructive sleep apnea. You can see how you put the ARES device on.

Our exceptional ENT specialists offer a number of oral appliances to treat conditions such as snoring and sleep apnea. Call to schedule an appointment today!

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a minimally invasive procedure to tighten the base of the tongue to help cure snoring and sleep apnea. It helps treat loose tongue muscles, enlarged tongues and sleep apnea caused by those two conditions.

The RFA Procedure

The doctor uses a non-invasive device to direct targeted radiofrequency energy to the base of the tongue. As the tongue heals, it gradually shrinks and tightens. The procedure we perform uses the Olympus Celon technique.

Benefits of Radiofrequency Ablation

Safety – The device has fail safe measures to eliminate the possibility of over-treatment. 
Low risk bleeding – The mucus layer of the tongue stays in tact during the procedure, so for the most part you won’t experience any bleeding
Fast procedure – Each lesion (tissue that’s being treated) only takes 6-10 seconds to treat
Minimally invasive – Due to the minimally invasive nature of the device, there is very little discomfort and the procedure only uses localized anesthesia.

Inspire Sleep Therapy is an innovative treatment for sleep apnea that does not require a mask or hose. Contact our ENT specialists to learn more about Inspire Sleep Therapy.

Our surgical ENT specialists are highly trained in performing reconstructive surgery.

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