Deviated septum, polyps and infection in sinuses

I have a deviated septum, palyps and an infection he right side of my face. I've had this infection for over 8 months. My doctor recommended a sleep study. I went in for the sleep study and found I have severe apnea. I've had these problems in my sinuses for quite a while. With the septum, infection and palyps. Wouldn't that cause most of the apnea? I feel I'm getting the run around.

Doctor Answers 6

More complicated than meets the eye

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Hi there

Definitely the deviate septum can be a part of the whole OSA process but there are many areas that obstruction can occur in addition to your deviated septum.  A formal evaluation with an OSA specialist is your best course of action.  If the deviated septum is 100 the only cause of the OSA then it should help alleviate your issue.  Most patients have obstruction lower, in the neck near the tongue base as well.

Sleep apnea

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These problems could cause or be part of sleep apnea. I recommend to see an ENT doctor to correct these issues and see how it affects your sleeping. If it does not help then you should contact a specialist.

Majid Jamali, DMD
New York Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

OSA with sinus disease

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Hey glucas, 

Great question- you've obviously thought a good bit about this and done some reading - Great Job!

Sleep apnea is a very complex problem- one thing that can't be challenged is that sleep apnea is VERY DANGEROUS. There have been many papers linking sleep apnea with heart problems, high blood pressure, and stroke among others. 

I would recommend: 1. Begin sleep apnea therapy as soon as offered. 2. It sounds like you would be a good candidate for a CT scan for evaluation of your sinuses and possibly some steroids/abx. Moderate to severe polyp disease will not improve without surgery- A good physical exam would be very helpful to determine your possible sites of obstruction (in addition to your nose). 

Nasal surgery can be very helpful in decreasing the pressure required by CPAP machines which makes it more tolerable. 

Oral appliances, weight loss, CPAP, and surgical procedures can improve sleep apnea problems. 

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Multilevel airway obstruction

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Hello-Nasal obstruction secondary to a deviated septum and nasal polyps can certainly contribute to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  However, if you have "severe" OSA based upon the sleep study, it is not likely the only cause, and fixing the nose likely will not "cure" your sleep apnea.  In most cases, OSA is due to obstruction at many sites within the airway, including the nose, palate, back of the throat, back of the tongue.  The gold standard treatment would be a CPAP machine.  The good news, however, is that a nasal surgery would likely lower the amount of pressure that would be required on your CPAP, which makes it more comfortable and easy to use for you.  It is important to take your severe OSA seriously; if untreated there are higher rates of heart and lung disease and stroke.  Also, if treated you will feel better with more energy!

Many types of doctors manage OSA including neurologists, pulmonologists, and otolaryngologists (sometimes even primary care doctors).  I would recommend an otolaryngology (consultation), and choose a surgeon that specializes in nasal and sinus surgery.

Best wishes!

Daniel J. Givens, MD
Dubuque Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Sleep obstruction issues

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Obstructive airway issues can occur at any level across our airway from our nose to our mid throat.That said, most but not all sleep apneas occur behind the tongue. Your nasal issues may or may not be a part of your sleep apnea. You can look to treat the upper obstructions and infections first and then get retested for OSA to see if the upper airway issues are the cause or you can treat both separately in the time frame and methods that you decide.My suggestion is to treat the obvious first and then with a healthy upper airway reassess for obstructive sleep apnea. Good luck 

Sleep Apnea: Nasal issues

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I would suggest immediately starting treatment of sleep apnea with either CPAP or an Oral Appliance.The correction of deviated septum, polyp removal and turbinate reduction will create a better nasal airway but rarely resolves severe apnea.   Surgery to the soft palate can actually make apnea worse so UP# is usually best avoided.The DNA Appliance can orthopedically grow your upper jaw (maxilla) and pneumopedically grow your airway.  The RNA version treats sleep apnea.  There are clinical studies of patients with sleep apnea being CURED with these appliances but there are no long term prospective studies completed .The I HATE CPAP website describes oral appliance therapy.  It is reported that Colin Sullivan who invented CPAP uses an Oral Appliance.Think Better Life Youtube channel has multiple video testimonials about success with these comfortable oral appliances.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.