It is a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.
A doctor during sleep apnea syndrome treatment in Hebbal, Bangalore may request the patient to provide details on their sleep history to detect the root cause of this ailment. If the doctor views it as a disorder after specific analysis, he may conduct an overnight evaluation to help determine the disease. Tests to detect sleep apnea include two modes.
1. Nocturnal polysomnography - Here, the patient is hooked to a piece of equipment that monitors their heartbeat, bodily movements, sleep position, breathing activity, lung and brain activity, oxygen levels, etc.
2. Home sleep tests- These tests, as the name suggests, are conducted inside the home where heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow, and breathing patterns are constantly tapped and measured to understand the possible causes of this sleep disorder. If you have obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor might refer you to an ear, nose, and throat doctor to rule out blockage in your nose or throat.
For milder symptoms, a doctor would ask to change one's habits or lifestyle patterns, for example, to avoid smoking or losing weight, or provide certain medications to avoid surgery. However, if there is no visible improvement, the doctor may recommend the following therapies depending on the level of seriousness.
1. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). In this therapy, a mask is assigned to the patient during his slumber, which generates air pressure slightly higher than the surrounding environment but optimal for consumption to ensure that the individual upper airway pockets and passages are cleared to prevent snoring resulting from apnea.
2. Oral appliances. Another great idea is to wear an oral device meticulously created to keep the mouth open and jaw forward to eliminate apnea and snoring.
3. Supplemental oxygen. This method works best for people facing central sleep apnea, and it involves supplying oxygen through one of many methods to a sleeping person so that they can sleep like a baby, tension free.
4. Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV). This method involves AI whereby the integrated computer takes notes of a person's sleeping patterns and utilises this information to prevent pauses in your breathing by adjusting the air pressure according to the needs while the individual is asleep.
But even if these therapies have failed, the doctor may ask the patient to consider surgery. Surgical options include,
Tissue removal. This is not a very effective method, but when one cannot tolerate Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, this surgery is advised. In the procedure, the tissues from the back end of the mouth and sometimes throat tissues are removed. It may also involve pulling out tonsils and adenoids. These tissues are removed via radiofrequency ablation. This helps to eliminate the vibration resulting from the movement of throat structures and thus gets rid of snoring activities and frees you from a troubled sleep.
Tissue shrinkage. Another great option is to contract the size of the tissues to the extent that will ensure the freeing of the airway passage and curb snoring. This is also done using radiofrequency instruments for faster and more efficient surgery. Many studies have found this is a much safer option than tissue removal in treating less adverse symptoms.
Jaw repositioning. This procedure is also known as maxillomandibular advancement. It repositions the jaw to bring it forward more than the rest of the facial structures, which creates space and freeway at the back of the mouth near the palate and helps in a smooth breathing process without any hindrances.
Implants. In brief, this process involves soft plastic rod implantation into the palate of your mouth after administering general anaesthesia to numb the area.
Nerve stimulation. This requires surgery to insert a stimulator for the nerve that controls tongue movement. The increased stimulation helps keep the tongue in a position that keeps the airway open. More research is needed.
Creating a new air passageway (tracheostomy). When other surgeries fail, an individual facing chronic sleep apnea must opt for this method. This method involves making an incision onto one's neck, creating an artificial airway passage by inserting a plastic tube into an individual's lungs. It is ideal for keeping this passage closed during the day and only opening it at night to breathe in and out smoothly while sleeping.
Other types of surgery which may help reduce snoring and contribute to the treatment of sleep apnea by clearing or enlarging air passages include,
Surgery to remove enlarged tonsils or adenoids
Weight-loss (bariatric) surgery
Snoring is nothing but a hoarse or harsh sound from the nose or mouth that occurs when breathing is partially obstructed while sleeping. Snoring can have causes that aren't due to underlying disease. Examples include nasal congestion, anatomic variation of the nose and soft palate or alcohol consumption.
An imaging test, such as an X-ray, a computed tomography scan, or magnetic resonance imaging, may be prescribed by your doctor. These examinations look for issues with your airway's structure, such as a deviated septum. Depending on the severity, the doctor may also conduct overnight sleep tests.
Your doctor could advise the following treatments if you snore and have OSA,
Oral devices. Oral appliances are custom-made dental mouthpieces that assist move your jaw, tongue, and soft palate forward, so your airway remains open.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). In this method, you sleep with a mask covering your mouth or nose, and the mask keeps your airway open while you sleep by directing pressured air from a tiny bedside pump to it.
Upper airway surgery. Several treatments use a range of approaches to expand the upper airway and stop it from significantly narrowing as you sleep.
For instance, during a treatment termed uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), your throat is tightened, and your surgeon cuts away extra tissue. This is similar to getting a facelift for your throat. The upper and lower jaws are moved forward during a treatment known as maxillomandibular advancement (MMA), which aids in clearing the airway. Radiofrequency tissue ablation uses a low-intensity radiofrequency pulse to reduce tissue in the soft palate, tongue, or nose.
In a more recent surgical procedure termed hypoglossal nerve stimulation, the nerve that directs the tongue's forward motion is stimulated to prevent the tongue from obstructing the airway when you breathe.
Consult with ENT experts at Manipal Hospitals now.