||Apnea and Snoring
SNORING AND SLEEP APNEA
In many instances, snoring is the first indicator of OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA SYNDROME (OSAS), a common disorder resulting in improper breathing during sleep.
IS IT SERIOUS?
Yes, OSAS is potentially life threatening.
WHAT CAUSES IT?
- 50% of adults with hypertension & heart disease also suffer from OSAS.
- 77% of male and 64% of female stroke patients have OSAS.
- OSAS may be responsible for 30,000 cardiovascular deaths per year.
- OSAS patients are 7 times more likely than non-OSAS patients to be involved in car accidents.
- Many marriages become strained due to severe snoring.
- Medical experts estimate that more than 18 million Americans may have sleep apnea, yet only 5% have been diagnosed and treated.
The airway at the back of the mouth and nose should be open for breathing during sleep. In the upper airway the tongue and the upper throat meet the soft palate and the uvula.
This site is a collapsible part of the airway. When these parts touch and vibrate while you breath, the result is snoring. Complete collapse results in obstruction and, if frequent,
could result in Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome.
IS THERE A CURE?
Yes. Most adults can benefit from general measures and/or specific treatments.
General measures include avoiding alcohol two hours before bedtime, weight loss, sleeping on the side and avoiding sedatives.
CPAP-Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. - A mask is worn over the nose producing a continuous airflow through the nasal passage to hold the airway open.
Surgery - Procedures can be performed to correct physical abnormalities of the nose and throat that compromise breathing during sleep. A surgeon may perform procedures such as UPPP (Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty) or LAUP (using a laser), to remove excess tissue at the back of the throat that may be blocking the airway. Sites of narrowing within the nasal airway may also be enlarged.
Snoring - new office procedures for the treatment of snoring include injection snoreplasty, R.F. ablation, and somnoplasty.
Dental appliances may be fitted to open the upper airway.
THE NEXT STEP