22 Nov Will Sleep Apnea Go Away In Time?
Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which a person repeatedly stops breathing for very brief periods during sleep. Not only does sleep apnea affect the patient’s quality of life, but it has also been linked with other serious health issues, like stroke and heart attacks. Sleep apnea typically does not resolve with time, and if patients let the condition go untreated, they may be exposing themselves to significant health risks.
Many cases of sleep apnea are of the obstructive type. That is, the soft tissues at the back of the patient’s throat collapse and obscure the opening of the airway, which interferes with the patient’s ability to breathe.
Obesity can contribute to sleep apnea, so overweight patients who lose a significant amount of weight may see some relief in the symptoms. However, in most cases, some sort of intervention is needed to reposition the jaw or tongue during sleep.
Our oral surgeons may be able to address the issue by removing any excess tissue in the area that could potentially obstruct the airway. This treatment is particularly useful to patients who have not gotten symptom relief from more conservative measures.
Before getting any type of treatment for sleep apnea, however, patients must get an accurate diagnosis of the condition. Interventions for obstructive sleep apnea will be ineffective if you don’t actually have the problem.
Our oral surgeons will recommend that patients complete a sleep study before beginning treatment. That sleep study may be completed at a sleep study center or in the comfort of the patient’s own home. It is not invasive. The patient merely wears a number of sensors during sleep, and those sensors measure various signals coming from the body.
If you or a sleeping partner have noticed signs of sleep apnea, such as loud snoring, noticeable pauses in breathing, daytime drowsiness or morning headaches, consult with one of our oral surgeons for guidance on completing a sleep study to get an official diagnosis, as well as treatment of the condition. Sleep apnea can and should be treated effectively, and patients gain a host of health benefits when that happens.
Schedule an appointment or sleep apnea consultation with Great River Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today.