According to the National Sleep Foundation, over 18 million Americans suffer from a medical condition known as sleep apnea. There are two types of sleep apnea, but the most prevalent form is known as obstructive sleep apnea. An article from the National Sleep foundation explains the condition further.
“Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open, despite efforts to breathe.
Obstructive sleep apnea, or simply sleep apnea, can cause fragmented sleep and low blood oxygen levels. For people with sleep apnea, the combination of disturbed sleep and oxygen starvation may lead to hypertension, heart disease and mood and memory problems. Sleep apnea also increases the risk of automobile crashes. Sleep apnea can be life-threatening and you should consult your doctor immediately if you feel you may suffer from it.”
Common symptoms of sleep apnea include experiencing excessive sleepiness during the day, snoring loudly, and waking up feeling exhausted instead of refreshed. If you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms, you can undergo a sleep study to confirm whether or not you have sleep apnea.
If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may advise you to lose weight or stop smoking, if either of those two conditions apply to you. If these initial methods do not work, you might need to see an oral surgeon in Philadelphia and inquire about uvulopalatopharyngoplasty.
An uvulopalatopharyngoplasty removes tissue from the back of the throat to provide more space for air to pass through. Tissue removed may or may not include the uvula, tonsils, adenoids and pharynx. In some cases, patients may opt for a Laser-Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty, a procedure that uses a carbon dioxide laser to remove throat tissue.
If you are interested in undergoing a Laser-Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty, be sure have an experienced oral surgeon in Bala Cynwyd, like Dr. Anthony Farole, perform the procedure. Take note, however, that these treatments are most effective when treating mild sleep apnea.
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(Article Information and Image from Sleep Apnea and Sleep; National Sleep Foundation; undated article)