As per the American Sleep Apnea Association, sleep apnea is a problem that affects more than 10 million Americans. It is a condition that occurs when a person regularly is unable to breathe during sleep due to an obstruction in their physical structure (obstructive breathing disorder) or due to the fact that the brain isn’t sending an alert for breathing (central) or an amalgamation of both.
Apnea can be found across all ages, and can cause other health issues, including heart disease as well as high blood pressure and memory impairment. While some people may use the prescribed CPAP machines, a lot of people don’t want to wear masks when they sleep or suffer from apnea which is treatable with surgery.
If someone suspects that they have sleep apneait is usually it is necessary to conduct a sleep study. The sleep test is when patients go to the sleep lab during the night and their sleep is monitored by devices which detect apnea-related episodes. Obstructive apnea may be treated by surgery, however there is no procedure currently which is efficient in preventing central apnea.
Apnea in children is often triggered due to enlarged tonsils. A tonsillectomy performed to take out the swollen tonsils can stop the apnea, and also prevent future problems with the tonsils. Other medical issues can trigger physical blockages which can be managed surgically. This includes swelling of adenoids that can be eliminated through an Adenoidectomy.
If sleep apnea is linked to weight gain, bariatric surgery is advised, since it is a kind of surgery that can help patients lose weight (which helps to reduce the risk of apnea). The most common surgery for sleep apnea is called uvulopalatopharyoplasty (UPPP), UPPP widens the airway by removing excess throat tissue. While there isn’t any definitive study that proves or disproving the efficacy in UPPP, UPPP has been proven to reduce snoring which is the largest and most sought-after method of treatment for sleep apnea currently.
The majority of doctors prefer to conduct sleep studies following surgery to determine if the procedure has treated the apnea and to determine if additional surgery or procedure is needed to correct sleep apnea. For instance, if a patient appears to suffer from obstructive sleep breathing and they have UPPP performed, and persists with apnea, it’s likely that their apnea may be mixed, and the apnea they are experiencing could result from the brain not communicating properly. A procedure to open the airways could uncover additional physical obstructions ranging from bone to soft tissue that could hinder breathing. If you suffer from apnea the notion that multiple surgeries could be required can be difficult to accept.
Sleep apnea is an extremely difficult medical issue to tackle and no one would like to be sleeping in a slumber. The knowledge that there are procedures available that are beneficial can ease the burden for the tired sufferer of apnea. There are currently limitations to the types of apnea that can be effectively treated with surgery, however with the advancement of technology and more sleep studies, new treatment options will be accessible.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for any medical issue in the event of deciding on treatment options, it is essential to consider how the treatment will be tailored to the person. With the knowledge of many who suffer from sleep apnea, the majority sufferers use sleep apnea equipment, and only a small percentage people use them. surgery might be a more beneficial option for those who aren’t keen on using machines all at night to assist in breathing.