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ENT Services / Sleep Apnea – Snoring Treatment

Sleep Apnea

You should never underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep, but sleep apnea can get in the way. If you have excessive snoring, you may have sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type. It occurs when your throat muscles relax overnight, and you stop breathing for periods of time while sleeping.

Risks of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is more than a nuisance. It can:

  • Lead to lower quality of life if you are always fatigued during the day from sleep deprivation.
  • Cause headaches and irritability.
  • Interfere with work and other activities if you cannot concentrate.
  • Lead to accidents if you doze off during the day.
  • Be life-threatening if you stop breathing while sleeping and you do not wake up.


Sleep apnea causes intermittent, involuntary pauses in breathing during sleep and can be a result of two primary reasons, which can be divided into three types.

  1. Obstructive sleep apnea. Occurs when the flow of air is unable to flow in or out of the nose or mouth, but the effort to breathe is still present. This is the most common type of sleep apnea.
  2. Central sleep apnea. Occurs when the brain fails to send the appropriate signals to the muscles initiating breathing despite nothing blocking the passage of air in or out.
  3. Complex sleep apnea. This type occurs when aspects of both obstructive and central sleep apnea contribute to intermittent pauses in breathing.

Regardless of type, these involuntary pauses can occur frequently, 20 to 30 or more times, during a night’s sleep. These pauses cause carbon dioxide to build up in the blood, triggering the brain to arouse and send signals to the body to breathe. This frequent arousal prevents one from obtaining a restorative night’s sleep and can contribute to multiple health issues.

Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Our ENT Otolaryngologist starts with an overview of your medical history and your symptoms to determine whether you may have sleep apnea. If your child has periods of time without breathing while sleeping, or gasps for air, he/she may have sleep apnea. Adults may need an overnight study known as a polysomnogram for diagnosis of sleep apnea. You might also be asked to complete a sleepiness survey that indicates how much your lack of sleep is interfering with your life.

Sleep Apnea Treatment In Atlanta

The number of episodes you stop breathing or awaken to breathe is used by your sleep apnea doctor in Atlanta to determine the severity of sleep apnea and determine treatment options. When sleep apnea is diagnosed, only in the mildest of cases without symptoms will observation, sleep position changes, or oral appliances be used to manage the sleep apnea.

In all other cases and severities, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is used as the first-line treatment of sleep apnea. This helps you breathe overnight and is nearly always effective when used properly. Additionally, weight loss and changes in sleep position, such as avoiding sleeping on one’s back, are recommended to help improve the symptoms of sleep apnea.

In moderate to severe sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend using an oral appliance in combination with a CPAP machine. However, in those with moderate to severe sleep apnea or those who would rather use something other than a CPAP machine, surgery is an option. 

The main two surgeries offered for the treatment of sleep apnea include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) or maxillomandibular advancement (MMA) procedures. However, depending on causes and individual anatomy, other procedures such as nose surgeries, tongue reduction surgery, and implantation of a hypoglossal nerve stimulator device may be recommended.


In Atlanta, the average range for a sleep apnea surgery can cost between $6,400 to $10,000 for soft tissue procedures such as UPPP procedures. However, this cost can soar to over $30,000 to $100,000 if more advanced surgeries are needed, such as a nerve stimulator or MMA procedure. 

Fortunately, medical insurance policies may cover all or most of the cost of these surgeries if they are determined to be medically necessary. Therefore, before proceeding with surgery, contact your health insurance to determine if the procedure is covered and what out-of-pocket expenses you may be required to pay.


Sleep apnea not only steals away a restful night’s sleep, it can place you at risk for many other health conditions. After treatment, you can expect to sleep better at night and feel better during the day! Set up a consultation today with Dr. Aaron Fletcher, a highly-skilled sleep apnea doctor in Atlanta.

If you are ready to take the first steps in obtaining a better night’s sleep, call our office at (678) 902-9495 to schedule an appointment today.


Frequently Asked Questions

Sleep Apnea FAQ

There are actually quite a few things about the human body that can cause sleep apnea. Some of these include airway obstruction due to relaxed tongue or throat muscles that block the windpipe, or even large tonsils or tongue can also lead to sleep apnea. In some cases, the condition can be found in people who are overweight, as fatty tissue in the throat can put significant pressure on the throat muscles. This can also lead to an obstruction of the airway. Sleep apnea can be found in a wide range of age groups and body types.

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Aside from disturbing a good night’s sleep, the condition can lead to more severe health complications if not properly managed and treated. Some may include depression, high blood pressure, lower blood oxygen levels, and more. Thankfully, you have multiple options to choose from. One of the most common would be with the help of CPAP therapy, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure.

This therapy will keep the airway open and avoid cessation while sleeping. Sometimes, additional measures need to be taken, and you may need to seek sleep apnea treatment in Atlanta if your case is significantly affecting your sleep and quality of life. Sleep apnea surgery is another solution, which can entail opening up narrow nasal passages, removing the tonsils, or removing the adenoids in the roof of the mouth.

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Considering the many effects of sleep apnea that occur while you’re asleep, it can be challenging to determine if that’s the cause of your discomfort and inconsistent sleep patterns. If these patterns are fairly consistent, it’s a good idea to visit a medical professional to see if sleep apnea is the culprit.

Your doctor will go over a few health factors regarding your current condition, but a sleep study called a polysomnogram might be needed. This will help monitor your sleep, brain activity, blood oxygen levels, breathing patterns, and heart rate. Getting a full scope of your condition may require a bit of time, but it’s the best way to lead yourself to an effective treatment.

Since sleep apnea can affect your sleep at night and cause many other health ailments, it’s common to encounter some symptoms throughout the day as well. It’s possible to feel exhausted or moody, which can affect your cognition since you aren’t getting the rest your brain and body need.

It doesn’t stop there; you may also experience headaches, impotence, and more. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea in Atlanta, give us a call at 678-902-9495, so we can get ahead of the curve of your condition.

Although some symptoms may intertwine or look similar on the surface, there are a few different kinds of sleep apnea. The three variations that exist are obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea.

All come with distinctive qualities that require a specific diagnosis and treatment plan. Even if you think you’re able to self-diagnose your sleep apnea, it’s crucial you let a medical professional take a thorough look at your condition so you can find what’s affecting your quality of life.



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