News ID: 126671
Published: 0344 GMT September 11, 2015

Sinus surgery to ease sleep apnea: Study

Sinus surgery to ease sleep apnea: Study

Struggling to breathe with sinus troubles can keep you from getting a good night's sleep. But a new study suggests that surgery to deal with chronically stuffed sinuses can help people breathe and sleep better, including people with sleep apnea.

The study found that 15 percent of people with chronically stuffed sinuses also had the sleep disorder, obstructive sleep apnea. After surgery to clear the sinuses, people reported better quality of life and improved sleep, regardless of whether or not they had a sleep disorder, said.

"Poor sleep, feeling tired, and fatigue are all frequent complaints of patients with chronic sinus disease," said study author Dr. Jeremiah Alt, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

According to Dr. Jordan Josephson, an ear, nose and throat specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, "Sinus and nasal problems often are part of the problem leading to snoring and sleep apnea, and are often overlooked and left untreated." Josephson was not involved in the current study, but reviewed its findings.

He added that patients with sinus problems and nasal breathing problems should all be evaluated for snoring and sleep apnea.

To find out if patients with both chronic sinus problems and sleep apnea might feel better following sinus surgery, Alt and his colleagues used questionnaires to check outcomes for more than 400 patients who underwent the surgery.

Sixty people also had sleep apnea. Following surgery, the patients had improved on several measures, including psychological and sleep problems, the study found.

The link between obstructive sleep apnea and chronic sinus problems is unclear, said Alt, but might include changes in how air flows through the nose and airways, or how sleep affects the body's ability to manage infection.


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