Sleep apnea is when a person has breathing interruptions, where they stop breathing, in their sleep.
These interruptions can happen hundreds of times a night, and sometimes last for a minute or longer. The most common form, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is where the soft tissue at the back of the throat closes, blocking your airway.
Although not always a result of sleep apnea, a notable warning sign is snoring (especially snoring interspersed with gasps or lack of breathing). It can be an indicator of a more serious medical condition that requires treatment to prevent future health problems. Be sure to let your doctor know if you experience snoring.
The team at Metro Health Ear, Nose, and Throat is well-qualified to treat sleep apnea or heavy snoring and there are several treatment options available.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – is a surgical procedure that treats OSA by tightening the tissue in the throat and palate to expand the passageways
- Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP) – is a variety of procedures used to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Some include laser treatment to remove the obstruction, while radio frequency ablation is used to shrink the excess tissue
- Genioglossus and Hyoid Advancement – this procedure opens up the lower throat and pulls the tongue muscles forward
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – the patient wears a pressurized mask over his or her nose while he or she sleeps. The mask pumps air through the airway to keep it open
- Septoplasty and Turbinate Surgery – reduce resistance to air flow through the nose