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Obstructive Sleep Apnoea & Snoring (including surgical treatment)

About the Condition

Snoring is a prevalent issue, with studies suggesting that up to 45% of males and 28% of females aged 30 to 60 years old are habitual snorers.

While 'simple' or 'primary' snoring mainly disrupts the sleep of bed partners, it can also indicate obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). OSA is a sleep disorder characterised by repeated breathing interruptions during sleep, leading to a drop in oxygen levels, sleep disruption, and associated health risks including daytime sleepiness, mood disturbances, cognitive impairments, and cardiovascular complications. In Singapore, about one-third of the population is affected by moderate to severe OSA.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the standard treatment for OSA, but patient compliance is often hindered by discomfort and inconvenience.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Sleep Apnoea

The NUH ENT department offers clinical assessment, diagnostic investigations and tailored treatment advice for snoring and OSA. CPAP therapy remains the primary treatment, effectively maintaining open airways during sleep. However, for patients who find CPAP challenging, alternative treatments, including surgery, are available.

NUH ENT provides an array of surgical interventions designed to enlarge or stabilise the upper airway, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Nasal surgery such as septoplasty, turbinate reduction and internal nasal valve stabilisation
  • Tonsillectomy
  • Palate surgery, including partial uvulectomy
  • Tongue base reduction, including lingual tonsillectomy and radiofrequency treatments
  • Hypoglossal nerve stimulation (Inspire therapy)
  • Partial epiglottidectomy
  • Skeletal surgery including surgically-assisted rapid maxillary expansion and maxillomandibular advancement 
  • Drug-induced sleep endoscopy

Refer to this Patient information sheet for more details on OSA.

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National University Health System
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