Sleep deeply and breathe freely with the help of GNO Snoring & Sinus.
Every day, Dr. Akash Anand helps patients stop snoring — but the busy ear, nose and throat physician’s new practice is anything but sleepy. “Patients will come in with their iPhones, and play me the sound of their partner snoring,” he says. “It’s a fun environment.”
As the founder of GNO Snoring & Sinus, which opened this fall, Dr. Anand specializes in resolving anatomical issues that can cause sleep apnea, sinusitis and other disorders that impact patients’ ability to breathe freely. Just by listening to the sound of a patient’s snore, the doctor can tell where his or her airflow might be obstructed.
So what exactly is snoring? “Snoring is the sound produced when the airflow goes in the back of your throat,” Dr. Anand explains. “Snoring in itself is really a nuisance, but it can be a sign of sleep apnea. Not everybody who snores will have sleep apnea — but almost everyone with sleep apnea will snore.”
Obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the airway periodically collapses or is blocked by tissue, is more common in overweight and obese patients. “When you gain weight, a lot of weight is deposited on the back of the tongue,” Dr. Anand says. The tongue then obstructs the airway, resulting in snoring that can sound like choking. For overweight patients, losing weight can help resolve sleep apnea.
Another nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure machine. “In the absence of effective weight loss, CPAP is the most established therapy,” Dr. Anand says. “It injects a stream of air at a certain pressure that pops open the airway.”
Upon their first visit to GNO Snoring & Sinus, patients with snoring, sleep apnea or sinus issues receive an airway assessment. “We take a camera and find out where they are obstructed,” Dr. Anand says. “We can open up the path, so airflow is much easier.”
For some patients, sleep apnea and snoring can actually be treated with an in-office procedure. Treatment can involve trimming down the uvula, which results in a lower-volume snore. Another option is stiffening the problematic tissue, using a radiofrequency probe inserted into the soft palate. “You can actually drop the volume of a snore,” Dr. Anand says. “You never want to get rid of it, because you need that tissue to move.”
According to Dr. Anand, many patients with sleep apnea see multiple doctors for their problem. Unfortunately, this can result in decentralized care and less-than-optimal results. He decided to base his practice around providing all necessary care in one location, and “giving patients an understanding of why the problem is occurring,” he says. “That’s one thing an ENT can bring to the table. We have the technical means to assess problems in the office.”
Hearing how his work changes his patients’ lives is one of the most rewarding aspects of Dr. Anand’s practice. Another bonus is that patients who have gotten used to struggled breathing find new energy and enthusiasm for daily activities, including exercise and sleep. “Restoring the natural airflow is the biggest compliment,” he says. “It ties into quality of life — because we all need oxygen.”
Akash Anand, M.D.
GNO Snoring & Sinus
4224 Houma Blvd., Suite 205
Metairie, LA 70006
8050 West Judge Perez Dr., Suite 3200
Chalmette, LA 70043
MEDICAL SCHOOL: Tulane Medical School
RESIDENCY: Tulane Medical School, Otolaryngology
FELLOWSHIP: Medical University of South Carolina, Advanced Head and Neck Cancer Surgery
BOARD CERTIFICATIONS: Otolaryngology