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Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a fairly common sleep disorder that affects nearly 18 million Americans. OSA can make patients feel like a good night of restful sleep is more of a dream than a reality. Dr. Akash Anand of GNO Snoring & Sinus is an expert sleep apnea doctor and has performed over 6,000 sleep and sinus procedures, helping patients find relief from all over the Greater New Orleans area. Find out more about Obstructive Sleep Apnea, its causes, and the treatments available at GNO Snoring & Sinus.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSA is caused by a multi-level airway collapse, resulting in a cessation or reduction in breathing during sleep. This reduction of airflow while you are sleeping causes a decrease in blood oxygen levels and causes a buildup of carbon dioxide. When this occurs, your brain senses your breathing is impaired and briefly wakes you from your sleep so you can reopen your airway. You are awake so briefly during this time that often you do not remember it. This cycle can repeat itself numerous times, all night long. These constant disruptions while your body is trying to sleep cause you never to reach the deep, restful sleep you need to wake up feeling rested and rejuvenated. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is often linked to other medical problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

While most people only associate Obstructive Sleep Apnea with excessive snoring, there are many other symptoms patients may experience. The experts at GNO Snoring & Sinus can evaluate your symptoms and give you a proper diagnosis to help you find relief for your sleep-related issues. Common symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Irritability
  • Headaches during the day
  • Depression and/or anxiety
  • Gasping for air while sleeping
  • Night sweats
  • Waking up with dry mouth
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Tiredness throughout the day
  • Trouble breathing during sleep

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

According to a number of population-based studies conducted by the National Institutes of Health, OSA can affect anyone, but it is much more common in men than in women. During your first visit to GNO Snoring & Sinus, Dr. Anand will review your potential sleep apnea causes. Those causes may include:

  • Family history of Sleep Apnea
  • Nasal congestion
  • Chronic Sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • Large Tonsils / Uvula
  • Large Tongue
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Deviated septum
  • Small Chin
  • Alcohol & drug use
CPAP was intolerable for me for 2 years. I tried multiple masks without improvement. I never had my airway examined and after Dr. Anand found my source of blockage, a tonsillectomy and septoplasty were performed. My tolerance of CPAP has greatly improved and my wife and I sleep better as a result. –JM

New OSA Patient Visit

Initial Visit

When you first visit GNO Snoring & Sinus for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, our team will first conduct a focused history to assess your level of daytime fatigue. We may also perform a complete airway examination using flexible laryngoscopy. This in-office procedure will allow Dr. Anand to examine your entire upper airway and determine the most likely sources of airway obstruction contributing to OSA.

Diagnosis of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

After your initial examination, a sleep study may be conducted to classify the severity of your Obstructive Sleep Apnea. We routinely perform at home sleep studies in the comfort of your own home. If you have previously been diagnosed with OSA, please bring the results of your sleep study to your initial visit.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatments

After Dr. Anand has reviewed the results of your sleep study, he will make recommendations based on your anatomic exam and the severity of your obstructive sleep apnea. Treatment options include:

  • In-office procedures
  • Surgical treatments
  • CPAP / AutoPAP
  • Oral appliance therapy
  • Weight loss program
  • No treatment

Did you say “No Treatment”?

That is correct! We often see patients with mild sleep apnea and no evidence of clinical fatigue or medical issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, lung issues, or other medical issues worsened by untreated sleep apnea. In these patients, it is not uncommon to recommend no treatment at all.

Our team will discuss every option with you to fully educate you on each of your options.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea Surgery Options

Over the years, the role of surgery in treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea has changed. While historically, surgical treatment to treat OSA has had mixed results, in recent years, patient selection criteria have been developed to identify which patients would benefit from surgery. This move away from a “one size fits all mentality” for treating OSA to enhanced selection criteria has improved success rates for surgical treatments. Data shows that surgery should not be used as a first-line treatment for OSA. Positive airway pressure (CPAP, APAP, BiPAP, etc.) remains the gold standard for treating OSA. But if a patient requires surgery, GNO Snoring & Sinus has plenty of experience treating patients suffering from OSA that have attempted CPAP therapy without any results. GNO Snoring & Sinus offers the following in-office procedures for Obstructive Sleep Apnea:

Inferior Turbinate Reduction

Reduces the size of the turbinates to reduce nasal congestion and improve breathing.


Corrects nasal septal deformity to reduce nasal obstruction and improve breathing.

Nasal Valve Reconstruction

Reinforces a weakened nasal valve to reduce obstruction on inspiration.


Removes excess tissue from the soft palate to reduce retropalatal obstructions.


Removes an elongated or widened uvula to reduce retropalatal obstructions.

Base of Tongue Reduction

Reduces enlargement at the posterior tongue region to reduce retrolingual obstructions.

Home Sleep Study

Diagnostic study performed in a patient’s home that can diagnose the existence of obstructive sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea FAQ

What type of pain control is provided after Sleep Apnea Treatment?

At GNO Snoring & Sinus, we have developed a unique postoperative pain protocol that combines anesthetic and narcotic medications. As patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea should not utilize a high level of narcotic medication, we rely mainly on compounded anesthetic medication. With the assistance of a local compounding pharmacy, we have developed anesthetic popsicles and lollipops that provide significant pain relief for patients in the postoperative period. This decreases a patient’s reliance on narcotic medication and the associated risks.

How many surgeries are required to perform multi-level airway surgery?

One. We do not require patients to endure multiple trips to the operating room to complete treatment. We have pioneered a treatment protocol that allows us to perform multi-level airway surgery in a single trip to the operating room, thereby decreasing the risk associated with multiple surgeries at different times.

What is the difference between in-office and surgical treatment options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

The overall principle is the same, namely, multi-level treatment. In the office, we have the ability to treat nasal, palatal, and lingual obstruction. This does not require general anesthesia and the post-procedure discomfort is less than surgical intervention. In-office treatments are reserved for those patients with select anatomic findings and a certain level of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

What is the difference between single-level and multi-level surgery?
Single-level airway surgery addresses one site of obstruction, whereas multi-level airway surgery addresses multiple sites. In terms of obstructive sleep apnea, the levels are broken down into nasal, palatal, lingual, and laryngeal. An in-office airway exam is used to determine your likely source of obstruction, and treatment is discussed afterward. Studies have shown that multi-level airway surgery is more effective at managing sleep apnea than single-level surgery. This makes sense as Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition of multi-level airway obstruction.
What is the difference between a home sleep study and an in-lab sleep study?

In-lab sleep studies are a comprehensive tool in the diagnosis of sleep disorders. They are conducted and supervised by a sleep technologist, an expert in the field of administering sleep studies. Home sleep studies do not provide the level of data that an in-lab study does, nor are they supervised by a sleep technologist; however, they provide enough data to arrive at a diagnosis of OSA. Studies have shown that in certain patient populations, home sleep studies are just as accurate as in-lab sleep studies. As a result, home sleep studies are an excellent diagnostic tool for most patients, with in-lab sleep studies reserved for patients who require more extensive testing.

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Contact GNO Snoring & Sinus For OSA Relief

GNO Snoring & Sinus proudly accepts Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurances. Dr. Anand is a Board-certified ENT with an exclusive focus on treating snoring and sinus disorders and is a leading authority in the treatment of sleep and sinus disorders for patients in the Greater New Orleans area. Contact us to request an appointment to help find relief for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.