I think that if we just arrived on this planet and had never seen an airplane before, we can agree that believing this thing could fly is hard to imagine. Instinct tells us that this is way to bulky and awkward to do much of anything when we see it at rest. If you could honestly guess its function, you might think it is some kind of ridiculous storage bin on tiny wheels, or perhaps a type of floating craft. When the jet engines provide propulsion, and the beast moves forward, the airflow acting upon the wings permits this thing to become an incredible flying machine, capable of long, predictable and functional flight!
When we look at the resting image though, without the aerodynamics knowledge, one can not conceive of the airflow and flight possibilities. In the same way, when we look at a cross section of the airway, or when a surgeon examines you in his/her office, they see a static model without realizing it.
They see a redundant palate or epiglottis, or a tongue that is too big, so assume that these things need to be shortened or removed. While these structures like the tongue, uvula, palate, turbinates or tonsils and adenoids seem too big, and we assume that they are the cause of sleep problems, in reality, it is our own imagination that has failed us. Just like with the jumbo jet, we are failing to see the dynamic (and invisible) airflow, and only see the structures that seem useless. This thinking is why surgery has such a high failure rate (also under-reported) with sleep apnea. We are not focusing on the aerodynamics, but on adding and subtracting tissue. We are missing the invisible forces. In reality, the lungs, functioning as the jet engines when expanding should draw air in through the nostrils. Then, this strong airflow passes into the throat and “lifts” the palate, uvula, and epiglottis out of the way, even in the muscle tone collapsed state of REM sleep. These structures do not need to be removed or shortened, and the nostrils don’t need grafts to make them “stronger”. In sleep apnea, the structures appear larger, because in these patients, they either are not using their nostrils due to obstruction, or because they underuse their nose due to structural mouth-breathing. Then, with airflow coming in through only the mouth, the underused nose becomes overcome with vacuum forces from the lung, which enlarges the turbinates and adenoid. Further, air pressure on the mouth side of the palate causes the palate and tongue to “lift” back toward the back wall of the throat, thus collapsing the airway, creating snoring, and even with lung force, a cessation of breath (an apnea.). Only restoration of nasal airflow, or a wakeful state (restoration of tone to the tongue, palate and jaw muscles) will permit breathing again. The jaw functions when closed to retain the palate and tongue in the mouth (and thus not collapsing into the throat), similar to how landing gear retract into the fuselage or wings during flight. Only a functioning propulsion system andadequate wings for lift will allow the jumbo jet to fly. Only functioning lungs, nostrils, and a closed jaw allows us to get a good nights sleep. Ifyou have mouth breathing and sleep apnea, removing tissue from your throat will never help, despite what your surgeon tells you. You need to focus on how to optimize your aerodynamics. We can help.
For details see: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1Xddm4y2Nqo~jB