Snoring is low-pitched sound caused by vibration of soft tissues inside throat during sleep.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is characterized by cessation airflow due to blockage of the airway by soft tissue collapse inside the throat, It would be soft palate, back of tongue, epiglottis, and combination of their structures. During these periods of obstruction, the oxygen level in blood can drop to dangerously low level.
Is sleep apnea dangerous?
Yes, sleep apnea is one of risk factors for future development of high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke. Sleep apnea patients experience excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue, orbities more liable for increased risk of workplace and automobile accidents.
What are common symptoms of sleep apnea?
Symptoms associated with OSA are
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Witnessed breath holds
- Gasping and choking
- Unrefreshing sleep
- Mood changes
- Male sex
- Central Obesity
- Family history of OSA
When to treatment is indicated
Mild OSA without symptoms (Excessive daytime sleepiness, un-refreshing sleep etc) usually doesn’t need any special treatment. Lifestyle changes such as weight loss (especially when BMI is greater than 25kg/m) and treatment of nasal obstruction by medication.
Mid OSA with excessive daytime sleepiness comorbidities (High Blood pressure, Heart disease, Diabetes) needs treatment with CPAP.
What is CPAP?
CPAP machine blows air into mouth and nose via a mask, Other presents the collapse of pharyngeal and palatal walls.
What to do if CPAP, not tolerable?
A non-invasive alternative to CPAP is dental or oral appliances. Worn while sleeping, then custom dental devices change the position of the jaw and suppress the tongue enlarges the airway.
When is surgery indicated?
- Severe, antisocial snoring which causing family disharmony needs surgical treatment.
- Patients those who are not happy in using CPAP needs surgery.
What are the different surgical options available?
- Minimally invasive treatment options like Ablation tissue volume reduction can be done outpatient basis, the patient can be discharged on the same day.
- Palatal surgery which can be done with Laser, collation or radio frequency needs 2-3 day stay in a hospital.
- When the patient having multi-level obstruction/collapse needs multilevel surgery like tongue base reduction, epiglottoplasty.