Sleep Apnea Surgery
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
When loud snoring is interrupted by frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing, it is known as obstructive sleep apnea. Serious episodes last more than 10 seconds each and occur more than seven times per hour. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder.
If you have sleep apnea, you must sleep lightly and keep your muscles tense in order to keep airflow to the lungs. Because you do not get a good rest, you may be sleepy during the day, which impairs job performance and makes you a hazardous driver or equipment operator. If sleep apnea continues for many years, you may experience increased blood pressure and heart enlargement.
If you are a heavy snorer, you snore in any position, or your snoring is disruptive to the family, you should seek medical advice to find out if your snoring is caused by sleep apnea.
At Austin ENT Clinic, one of our otolaryngologists will thoroughly examine your nose, mouth, throat, palate, and neck. An examination will reveal if the snoring is caused by sleep apnea or another condition such as nasal allergy, infection, deformity, or tonsils and adenoids.
The doctor may also recommend a sleep study in a laboratory environment to determine how serious the snoring is and what effects it has on your health. Treatment depends on the diagnosis. If the doctor determines you need surgery, our head and neck surgeons perform a number of procedures to treat snoring or obstructive sleep apnea.
If surgery is too risky or you do not want to have surgery, you can use continuous positive airway pressure, or a CPAP machine, when you sleep at night. You will wear a nasal mask that delivers air pressure into the throat to keep the airway open.
If you or someone you love is exhibiting symptoms of sleep apnea, take action and request an appointment with one of the specialists at Austin ENT Clinic, or call our office to arrange a consultation at 1-800-876-EARS (3277).