Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Surgical Intervention to Correct Your Airway
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that is often accompanied by loud snoring. Your throat muscles will relax periodically, blocking your airway while you are sleeping. You can try a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP machine, that keeps your airway open throughout the night. This treatment has been around for decades, and it is an effective way to deal with obstructive sleep apnea. Losing weight can often help reduce or eliminate obstructive sleep apnea, as the thickness of your neck is a contributing factor. If you find the CPAP machine mask uncomfortable, ent surgery may be an option to deal with your obstructive sleep apnea so that you don't have to wear a mask every night.
Common Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Snoring is one of the most obvious symptoms of sleep apnea. You might wake yourself up snoring, or your partner may complain that they can't sleep because you are snoring. Exhaustion during the day, even after you have gotten a full night's sleep can be indicative of obstructive sleep apnea. If you wake up gasping for breath, or you have a sore throat every morning, sleep apnea can be to blame. Frequent morning headaches, high blood pressure, and trouble concentrating can also point to problems with sleep apnea.
Treatment Options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to lose weight and get blood sugar levels or blood pressure under control. The first treatment is usually a CPAP machine, and many people find success using the device. When you are not able to sleep wearing the CPAP mask, or you want to try a surgical option, your ent surgeon will work with your sleep specialist to determine if surgical intervention is right for you.
Surgery for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
An ent surgeon will perform a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP, to tighten tissue that has become flabby in your palate and throat, effectively opening up your airway. When you have obstructive sleep apnea and it is impacting your overall health, surgery can correct the problem so that you get a better night's sleep. Once surgery is complete, your obstructive sleep apnea should be cured and you won't need to rely on a CPAP machine.
Obstructive sleep apnea can have a negative effect on your cardiovascular system over time. High blood pressure can develop because of the strain on your heart when you stop breathing while sleeping. Surgery is a solution that gives you the ability to sleep well without using a CPAP machine.