Snoring and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Disorders
Obstructive sleep disorders frequently manifest themselves as some degree of snoring. This is most commonly is reported by the bed partner or members sleeping in the same household. This snoring can simply be obnoxious, affecting more so, the sleep and overall health of the listener but it also commonly can be a warning sign, pointing to the presence of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). In addition, other signs are common and may indicate a sleep disorder. Some are listed below:
- Excessive and unwarranted sweating during sleep
- Frequent headaches upon waking in the morning
- Awaking from sleep gasping for air
- Excessive leg movement / kicking during sleep
- Difficulty staying awake in the afternoon or evening or when placed in a quite room
- Motor vehicle accidents or near misses due to falling asleep at the wheel
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
OSA, a potentially life threatening disease, is essentially the difficulty or inability to breath efficiently during sleep due to partial or complete airway collapse. As we all know, breathing is quite essential and when it is chronically compromised, a number of signs and symptoms can occur. Waking gasping for air at night, unreasonable night sweats, chronic morning headaches due to lack of oxygen to the brain, and excessive day time sleepiness can all point to the presence of some degree of OSA. If left untreated, this chronic breathing difficulty and lack of oxygen can produce chronic cardiopulmonary dysfunction, mental dullness, and a general feeling of fatigue.
The best way to diagnose this condition and its degree of severity is to undergo a sleep study. A formal nighttime sleep study (nocturnal polysomnogram) administered in a sleep laboratory is the most reliable way to diagnose this condition. If obstructive sleep apnea is found, various modes of treatment may be available including non-surgical and surgical options. The best treatment is frequently multi-factorial, requiring several options simultaneously.
What is the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons Role in Treatment?
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons have been long involved as part of the treatment team to treat obstructive sleep apneics. Maxillary and mandibular (upper and lower jaw) advancement surgery, hyoid suspension, tongue-base suspension, genial segment advancements, and various palatoplasty procedures including laser-assisted surgery are some of the surgical procedures provided by the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon.
Mandibular Repositioning Appliance
Non-surgical options, such as mandibular repositioning devices (MRAs), are also provided by the Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon. The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is therefore, an integral member of the sleep disorder treatment team.
The Pacific Coast Center for Oral, Facial and Cosmetic Surgery and Drs. Elias, Stephens and Verratti routinely treat patients with Obstructive Sleep Disorders and therefore have the expertise and availability of various experts and resources to manage this condition. We offer various surgical and non- surgical options for care.
Please feel free to contact us for a consultation if you feel that you or a loved one has this disorder.