If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea, then finding a treatment that works is important for your health. A sleep disorder impacts your life in a lot of ways. When you don't get restful sleep, you're more prone to have accidents and you may be groggy during the day. Apnea is dangerous because it restricts air movement and oxygenation. This strains your cardiovascular system when you sleep. There are different treatment choices for sleep apnea and some involve surgery. Here are a few things to know about having a sleep apnea procedure.
Other Treatments Options May Be Explored First
Your doctor will probably save surgery as a last resort treatment when nothing else works. He or she may have you try a CPAP device first. You wear the device while you sleep and it forces air into your nose that helps keep your airway open. CPAP doesn't always work, especially if you can't get used to it and you don't wear it like you should. There's also a dental appliance to try that pulls your lower jaw forward to keep your airway from closing when you sleep. Another possible option is electrical stimulation of your tongue that keeps your tongue from fully relaxing and blocking your airway. These treatments may not be suitable for you or you may just prefer to have surgery so you don't have to deal with your apnea on a nightly basis.
The Cause Of Apnea Is Determined Before Surgery
Surgery treats obstructive sleep apnea and there are several reasons your airway can become obstructed when you fully relax as you sleep. The problem could be in your nose, jaw, soft palate, tonsils, tongue, or back of your throat. Your doctor needs to determine where the problem is so the appropriate surgery can be planned. In addition to having sleep testing done, you may be referred to an ENT specialist for an examination to find the source of the blockage.
The Best Type Of Sleep Apnea Procedure Is Chosen
There are several surgical approaches to treating sleep apnea. The procedure might be something simple such as inserting tiny rods in your soft palate that cause it to stiffen so it doesn't collapse when you relax. The surgery could also be very complex, such as repositioning your jaw. However, many of the sleep apnea surgeries involve removing excess tissue. This could be removing adenoids and tonsils or removing excess tissue from the throat, soft palate, or tongue. Some procedures are relatively minor and can be done as an outpatient. Surgeries that involve correcting bone abnormalities may require a hospital stay.
Once you've had surgery for obstructive sleep apnea, your problems with snoring and airway obstruction should be corrected. That's one reason surgery is often an appealing choice when wearing a CPAP device or dental appliance every night is too uncomfortable for you to bear. Your doctor can help you decide on the best way to treat your sleep apnea taking into consideration its exact cause and how well you tolerate other types of treatment. Even something as simple as losing weight could make a big difference in your sleep apnea, but that's not always easy to do either. It's possible sleep apnea surgery is the best form of treatment for you.