Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) doesn’t just mean you’re annoying others with your snoring. It’s a serious medical condition that deprives your body of oxygen. If you don’t address it, OSA can lead to chronic fatigue and other problems that result from never getting a good night’s rest (such as depression or weight gain).
What Is OSA?
OSA is when the air passage is temporarily closed off during sleep while you breathe. There is something preventing air from getting into your lungs. Subconsciously forcing the air in often results in a snoring sound.
OSA can be linked to excess tissue around the neck. It may also be a problem for individuals with chronically inflamed tissues in the throat, such as allergy sufferers.
Poor jaw positioning can also cause your tongue to relax during sleep and collapse back on the throat.
Treatment for OSA
Treatment to open up the airway in OSA sufferers often starts with the classic CPAP machine. This forces air into the windpipe in a way that clears the throat of relaxed tissues.
If wearing the mask and machine doesn’t appeal, there are oral appliances that can help prop the jaw into proper position for clear breathing.
When all else fails, surgery can help some patients get permanent relief.
Surgery may involve restructuring the throat to remove any excess tissues. Alternatively, you can have your jaw surgically repositioned to open properly, for easier breathing when you sleep.
Surgery can even make it easier to wear and get relief from a CPAP machine.
You may be a good candidate for OSA surgery if you already cannot tolerate other treatment methods. To find out if surgery is right for you, call Stafford Oral Surgery & Specialists for a consultation.
Posted on behalf of Stafford Oral Surgery & Specialists