Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) Treatment in Foley, AL


What is obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from a few seconds to minutes. As a result, you spend more time in light sleep and less time in deep, restorative sleep — the sleep you need to be energetic, mentally sharp, and productive the next day. There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea, but OSA is by far the most common type of sleep apnea.

Our Foley ENT practice can help you. Learn more below, or request an appointment.

What causes obstructive sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can be caused by a number of different factors, which vary from person to person. Factors may include:

  • Being overweight
  • Having abnormalities in the nose that lead to nasal obstruction, such as a deviated septum
  • Having a large tongue or a tongue with poor muscle tone
  • Having extra soft palate tissue
  • Having enlarged tonsils

What are the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea may cause symptoms including:

  • Excessive sleepiness or lack of energy throughout the day
  • Chronic snoring
  • Morning headaches
  • Waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
  • Restless sleep
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss

In many cases, people living with sleep apnea may have no idea that their sleep is being interrupted at night. Symptoms may be present for years or even decades without identification.

How is obstructive sleep apnea treated?

To evaluate a patient for sleep apnea, Dr. Kowal will recommend a sleep study, which records specific physical activities while you sleep, including the number of pauses in breathing.

For some people, sleep apnea symptoms can be improved with lifestyle changes such as:

  • Sleeping on your side
  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Avoiding alcohol and other sedatives before bed


When sleep apnea symptoms are more severe or if lifestyle changes fail to produce successful results, Dr. Kowal may recommend a more permanent sleep apnea surgery or minimally invasive procedure. Sleep apnea treatment options offered at ENT Centers of Excellence include:

  • Pillar Procedure – a minimally invasive sleep apnea treatment that involves placing small implants in your soft palate to stiffen it and prevent airway obstruction
  • Transoral Robotic Surgery – a cutting-edge surgery that involves the use of robot-assisted technology to treat hard-to-reach problem areas in the back of the throat that contribute to sleep apnea
  • Hyoid Suspension – a surgery which secures the hyoid bone to the thyroid cartilage, helping to stabilize this region of the airway and reduce blockage
  • Tongue Advancement – a surgery which repositions the tongue in order to enlarge the airway and keep air flowing easily during sleep
  • Radiofrequency Ablation of Base of Tongue – a minimally invasive procedure that utilizes radiofrequency energy to shrink the tissue located at the base of the tongue
  • Lateral Pharyngoplasty – a surgery which involves removal and repositioning of the tissues located in the soft palate and along the sides of the throat


Dr. Keith Kowal, a highly experienced ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist in Foley, Alabama offers enhanced treatments for all sleep disorders, including treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. He also provides a variety of CPAP alternatives for patients who are non-compliant with CPAP therapy.

If you have OSA symptoms and want to do something about it, you can trust Dr. Kowal and his 30 years of experience. His goal is to help his patients breathe better and sleep better to live better! A consultation with Dr. Kowal is the first step to a good night’s sleep and a healthier lifestyle for you and your bed partner. Call 251.943.1117 now to schedule an appointment or simply fill out the form on this page.


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