Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when a person's breathing is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times. This means the brain -- and the rest of the body -- may not get enough oxygen.There are two types of sleep apnea:
1. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): The more common of the two forms of apnea, it is caused by a blockage of the airway, usually when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep.
2. Central sleep apnea: Unlike OSA, the airway is not blocked, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to breathe, due to instability in the respiratory control center.
What Causes Sleep Apnea disorder?
There are a number of factors that increase risk, including having a small upper airway (or large tongue, tonsils or uvula), being overweight, having a recessed chin, small jaw or a large overbite, a large neck size (17 inches or greater in a man, or 16 inches or greater in a woman), smoking and alcohol use, being age 40 or older, and ethnicity (African-Americans, Pacific-Islanders and Hispanics). Also, OSA seems to run in some families, suggesting a possible genetic basis.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms
1. Waking up with a very sore or dry throat
2. Loud snoring
3. Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
4. Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
5. Sleepiness while driving
6. Morning headaches
7. Restless sleep
8. Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
9. Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
Sleep Apnea TreatmentThere are different ways to deal with sleep apnea. First let’s go through the none invasive ways:
1. Lose weight
2. Exercise every day
3. Start a sleep diary
4. Quit smoking
5. Drink alcohol-free beverages
6. Sleep on your sides
7. Drink alcohol-free beverages
Is snoring a sign of sleep apnea?
While sleep apnea almost always causes loud and regular snoring, just because you snore doesn’t mean that you have this disorder.
One way to tell the difference between snoring and OSA is to look for the symptoms of sleep apnea: waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air, continual sleepiness during the day, and always snoozing with your mouth open.
Another way to differentiate between regular snoring and sleep apnea is the type of snoring: Those with sleep apnea tend to snore more regularly and loudly, plus they often gasp for air in their sleep and you can sometimes hear them momentarily stop breathing. People with sleep apnea have more of a choking sound to their snores.
Sleep apnea surgeryThere are many different types of surgery for sleep apnea and snoring.
Below are the most common and effective surgical methods to address these potential sites of obstruction.
UPPP, or in full, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, has been the most common sleep apnea surgical procedure performed during the past 25 years. UPPP involves removal of the tonsils, the posterior surface of the soft palate, and the uvula. The uvula is then folded toward the soft palate and sutured together as demonstrated in the figures. In the US, UPPP is the most commonly performed procedure for obstructive sleep apnea with approximately 33,000 procedures performed per year. The surgery is more successful in patients who are not obese, and there is a limited role in morbidly obese (>40 kg/m2) individuals.
Latest Researches shows that to treat snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, Yale physicians are using a radiofrequency technology called somnoplasty to shrink extra tissues in the nose and throat, and oral appliances to move the lower jaw forward during sleep.
Somnoplasty is a surgical treatment for snoring , which uses heat energy to modify the tissues of the uvula and soft palate. Somnoplasty is an in-office procedure done with local anesthesia although
In some researches it is not indicated for the treatment of sleep apnea.
Sleep surgery in Iran
Iran offers a wide range of surgical options to treat obstructive sleep apnea. Our knowledgeable pediatric and adult sleep surgeons work closely with different sleep disorder clinic to choose the best surgical option for each patient based on factors such as anatomy, severity of sleep apnea and age.
It's important to realize that surgery is not an appropriate treatment for all patients. While the procedures performed by our professional doctors are safe, every surgery comes with some risk, so it’s important to carefully explore the risk to benefit ratio with your doctor.