Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome in Clackamas, OR

Upper airway resistance syndrome occurs during sleep when the muscles of the throat’s airway become relaxed and this relaxation overly reduces the diameter of the airway causing breathing to become labored. While this does not lead to full cessation of airflow (like with sleep apnea), it is a serious condition that can result in abnormal sleep patterns, daytime sleepiness, and other more serious effects which are also currently being studied.

Symptoms of upper airway resistance syndrome include snoring, sleepwalking (in some), and excessive sleepiness during the daytime. Hypertension has also been found to likely be present. To test for upper airway resistance syndrome, a sleep study or polysomnography that includes a specialized measurement of Pes (esophageal pressure) is recommended.

Treatment for upper airway resistance syndrome is often the same as that for obstructive sleep apnea. This may include first trying less invasive measures such as diet changes and sleep pattern changes, or use of CPAP equipment, or use of specialized oral appliances which serve to protrude the tongue and jaw forward thus reducing the airway resistance.

Surgical options including uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and linguloplasty to increase the dimensions of the airway and to reduce the amount the airway collapses are also available and effective. At Mt. Scott ENT & Sleep Medicine, we have found that most patients usually respond to treatment well, and upper airway resistance syndrome is eminently treatable.