The go-to treatment for sleep apnea — a disorder that disrupts sleep and leads to serious health complications like high blood pressure, stroke and heart attack — has generally been soft palate surgery. However, it’s expensive and doesn’t always work. Drugs like acetazolamide and eszopiclone have helped some patients, but clinical trial results have not been as promising as hoped.

Fortunately, a new collaborative 5-year study co-led by by Eric Kezirian, MD, MPH, a sleep surgeon with the USC Caruso Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, is looking for ways to improve treatment for sleep apnea by investigating the effects of combining surgery with medication. The research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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