Sleep apnea is also known as obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. This common condition presents a problem while sleeping since patients cannot breathe in enough oxygen. In practical terms, it is a sleep disorder where breathing repeatedly stops during sleep. Most people associate snoring with OSA, but that is not really the problem; it is just a symptom. OSA needs to be treated, so how does an ENT specialist treat sleep apnea?
Complications When You Don’t Treat Sleep Apnea
Snoring and fatigue are common complications from OSA, but there are far worse dangers if you don’t treat sleep apnea.
Consider the following:
- You are more likely to develop heart disease and have a heart attack with OSA, and you are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a stroke.
- If you already suffer with high blood pressure, OSA will make it worse.
- Type 2 Diabetes is quite common with OSA.
- OSA is linked to weight gain, acid reflux, and adult asthma.
A number of famous celebrities and professional sports figures have passed away due to complications from obstructive sleep apnea.
Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
Many people have this sleep disorder without being diagnosed. Without treatment it can be dangerous.
If you snore loudly, wake up with a headache and a dry mouth, have sleep problems like being unable to stay asleep, if you are sleepy and fatigued during the day, seem to be irritable, and lastly, wake up at night gasping for air, you may indeed have OSA.
Fatigue can affect not only you, but others if you do a lot of driving.
How Does Surgical Associates Northwest Treat Sleep Apnea In Auburn and Federal Way, WA?
Your ENT specialist can treat sleep apnea several ways.
Using A CPAP Machine At Night
This device is recommended as the first treatment for OSA. It opens your airway at night, prevents snoring, and provides a healthier sleep pattern. You have most likely seen the CPAP machine marketed on television by celebrities who have the sleep disorder.
Procedures To Remove Excess Tissue
If the CPAP machine does not provide the relief you need, surgery is the next step. The procedure is known as UPPP for short, and your ENT specialist will remove soft tissue in your throat like tonsils or adenoids that may be obstructing the airway.
A septoplasty will straighten the septum in your nose if it isn’t straight (known as s deviated septum). This is the tissue of cartilage and bone between your nostrils inside your nose.
Another possible treatment is to use radiofrequency energy to reduce the size of other tissue inside the nose called turbinates.
Your ENT specialist will make recommendations for the best way to treat your sleep apnea.