What is sleep apnea?
Sleep Apnea is a common disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted or ceases during sleep. In most instances, the person is unaware of these breathing cessations, as they do not prompt a complete awakening.
Types of sleep apnea include the following:
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) – caused by an airway blockage, most often when the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses during sleep
- Central – no airway blockage, but the brain fails to signal the muscles to activate breathing
- Mixed – this is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea
How is sleep apnea treated?
Obstructive sleep apnea is treated by a multi-step approach. The first step involves a thorough evaluation by a sleep specialist who performs a history and physcial exam followed by a sleep study. The sleep study provides an understanding of the severity of sleep apnea and a guideline for future treatment. Depending on the severity of sleep apnea, multiple treatment options are available.
The most common and reliable method for treating sleep apnea is the use of a Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure machine, a nonsurgical treatment option that has the highest cure rate of any options. The machine is to be worn during sleep and allows for the obstruction to be bypassed by intermittent air that is administered via a nose- or mouth-mask. For those who are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine, other treatment options are available, such as an oral appliance and/or behavioral theraphy, including weightloss, exercise, and control of alcohol intake.
Am I a candidate for sleep apnea surgery?
If you have already tried Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure (CPAP) therapy in addition to self-help treatment recommendations, you may benefit from surgical treatment.
Why Austin Oral Surgery?
Austin Oral Surgery is comprised of a surgical team that is well trained in every aspect of sleep apnea surgery. All sleep apnea surgery procedures are performed by 2 qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeons to ensure that the highest quality of care is delivered to each and every patient.
For questions or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 512-402-6677.