Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome
- Description: This disorder is a relatively recently discovered category of sleep apnea syndrome. The main symptom is abnormal daytime sleepiness in people with chronic snoring who don’t actually stop breathing in their sleep. Individuals with this were once mistakenly thought to have narcolepsy. This turns out to be a very common disorder that is often a precursor to fully developed sleep anea.
- Evaluation: ‘UARS’ develops because of a relaxation in the throat beyond that associated with simple snoring, making it harder to inhale, increasing the work of breathing and resulting in fragmented sleep with lots of arousals in brain activity (of which the person is not aware). Polysomnography and or Home Sleep Testing Device is essential in order to acertain actual apnea isn’t present. The confirmation of the diagnosis used to depend on some invasive and unpleasant measures that have largely been replaced by assessing the response to a trial use of nasal Positive Airway Pressure or custom dental orthotic.
- Treatment: The full spectrum of treatments for sleep apnea may also be used for this disorder, though the more complex or invasive surgical procedures such as extensive facial remodeling isn’t recommended. Therapies to consider include weight reduction, sleep position therapy, decongestants, modification of alcohol intake, modification of medications being taken for other conditions, nasal patency devices, allergy therapy, dietary modification to eliminate foods affecting nose and throat function, nasal surgeries, palatal surgeries, special dental devices, specially designed pillows, and prescription medications. Surgical techniques include laser (LAUP) and traditional palatoplasty (UPPP).