Patients with obstructive sleep apnea suffer from pauses in breathing during sleep, which results in low blood-oxygen levels. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the patient’s tongue is sucked into the back of throat, blocking the airflow and causing the brain’s oxygen levels to decrease, which forces the patient awake with a gasp. Our practice in Bellaire, TX, offers both surgical and nonsurgical treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, and we encourage you to schedule a consultation appointment so our doctor can examine your condition.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Many times, it’s a patient’s partner or roommate that alerts them to signs of sleep apnea because most of the symptoms occur during sleep. There are symptoms, however, that occur during the day that can help you identify your condition. Common symptoms associated with sleep apnea include the following:
- Waking up with a dry mouth or throat
- Pauses in breathing during sleep (waking up with a gasp)
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood changes, including irritability or depression
- Sleepiness during the day, even after a full night’s sleep
Sleep apnea is most common among male adults, but anyone can suffer from sleep apnea. If you or your partner/roommate notices you have any of the above symptoms, you should visit a sleep specialist. They are trained to detect and diagnose sleep apnea, and they can send you to an oral surgeon for the appropriate treatment. When left untreated, sleep apnea is known to lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and other health problems.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
Both nonsurgical and surgical treatments are available at Bellaire Facial, Oral & Dental Implant Surgery, and we always consider noninvasive procedures first. Sleep apnea can be affected by many factors, such as weight, level of alcohol intake, sleeping position, and more. Losing weight, decreasing alcohol consumption, or changing your sleeping position all have the potential to help with your condition. In addition, a CPAP (breathing assistant) machine may be effective. For more severe cases, in which surgery is required, there are several options available:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) clears the airway by modifying the soft tissue at the back of the throat. Removing or tightening the excess tissue in the throat can help stop the apneas (or pauses) during sleep.
- Laser Assisted uvulo-palato-plasty (LAUP) is similar to UPPP, but it uses a laser and deals with the soft palate to clear the airway.
- Corrective jaw surgery can also be an effective treatment for sleep apnea, especially for patients who found treatment with CPAP machines to be unsuccessful. CPAP machines work by pushing more oxygen into the airway during sleep, but the position of some patients’ jaws does not allow this to work properly. In these cases, our oral surgeon can perform corrective jaw surgery and create more space in the airway.
Sleep Apnea Treatment at Bellaire Facial, Oral & Dental Implant Surgery
If you have noticed symptoms of or been diagnosed with sleep apnea, please contact our office in Bellaire, TX, to schedule a consultation appointment. Our oral surgeon can examine your condition and determine its severity before developing a personalized treatment plan. We will discuss both surgical and nonsurgical intervention with you.