Is surgery the only option for treating sleep apnea or snoring
I do predominantly the line share of sleep apnea surgery in our department. I collaborate closely with the pulmonologists, who are the sleep medicine s. Those are the s that help diagnose and treat sleep apnea, as well. If those patients fail their, their medical or their conservative therapy, that's typically when they get sent to see me for surgical considerations to, to look at potential cures for their apnea. It's not uncommon for me to see a lot of patients for, who come in for snoring complaints and, you know, are wondering whether or not they have sleep apnea. So sleep apnea is condition where you actually stop breathing at night.
Snoring is somewhere on that spectrum, towards the more mild, you know, milder end of that spectrum. But, you know, really the only way to determine if you have sleep apnea, the gold standard of testing, is really getting a sleep study. And that's an overnight, monitored study where patients, you know, sleep in a room that's similar to a hotel room but they're being monitored and they're hooked up, you know, for sound so to speak with different monitors and cables on them. And that's really our best test to diagnose sleep apnea. The treatment for sleep apnea is typically a nonsurgical therapy; something called CPAP,
which stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. And it's the patients that don't tolerate their CPAP who end up seeing me for surgical considerations. And there's a number of reasons why patients may not tolerate their CPAP. But there are some surgeries that can be helpful in patients who are not tolerant of their medical therapy. And I offer a variety of surgeries including nasal surgery, a variety of palatal surgeries for the kind of tonsil and soft pallet region and then also a variety of tonguebased procedures, as well. But we typically see a patient back after their procedure in about three weeks to recheck everything, make sure that they're healing okay.
After that, I normally recheck a sleep study in about three months after their surgery, just to give everything a chance to heal and to scar. And we, you know, make further recommendations based on the result of their followup sleep study after their surgery. We're exploring the, a new technology now which is actually a nerve stimulator for sleep apnea. It's an implantable device, very similar to a pacemaker that goes into the patient's chest. And there's an electrode that will actually stimulate the nerve that goes to the tongue to provide the tongue with a little bit of more tone when they're sleeping at night, and thereby eliminating their sleep apnea.
Do Sleeping Pills Really Help You Sleep
This episode of DNews is proudly brought toyou by Subaru. More than six million adults in the UnitedStates take a sleeping pill at least once a month before they go to bed at night, andthat number is increasing. But do we even know what they're doing to our brainsé! Hey there friends, Trace here for DNews. Sleepingpills, or more accurately, sleep aids are growing in popularity, but are they helpingéA study from the CDC called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey foundsleep aid use increased in the first decade of this century significantly, with more womenthan men using sleep aids.
Sleep aids come in a variety of types, butmost common are quot;sedative hypnoticsquot; which means it's a pill which mimics being knockedout for a surgical procedure. Benzodiazepines and Nonbenzodiazepines are in this type,they are sometimes called Zdrugs, because they all have Z's in them. Other than these,some people are prescribed antidepressants, or powerful antihistamines. Some of these aids succeed in knocking youout by depressing the central nervous system function, others, like the antihistamine increasedrowsiness. There's a newer drug class of quot;Orexin receptor antagonistsquot; which blocka brain chemical which keeps you aware and
wakeful. Each of these drugs are great forknocking a human out, but bing unconscious isn't SLEEP. Professor Matthew Walker from University ofCalifornia Berkeley told Probably Science if you want to quot;lose consciousness,quot; thesedrugs are fine, but it's not natural sleep; it's simulated sleep. Drugs alter the quot;sleepstructurequot; or natural patterns and rhythms of sleep. When you're sleeping, your brainis active, organizing your day, making dreams and cleaning itself. Most of the newest drugswill allow the brain into REM sleep, but they DON'T allow the brain to go through the fullnatural sleep process, which means the brain
doesn't have a chance to clean up and processmemories from the day before; cementing them for future reference. According to the National Institutes of Health,you should never take sleep aids more than three times in a week, and make sure you addressany other mental health issues like anxiety or depression before taking a sleep aid. Theproblem is many sleep aids are habit forming and accidental overdoses are possible thoughthey're usually not lethal. A popular alternative to drugs is melatonin;a natural hormone which resets your circadian clock. Everyone produces melatonin from thepineal (pihkneeuhl) gland in the middle
of the brain. When the sun drops, melatoninproduction ramps up for 12 hours helping you feel less aware and awake usually startingaround 9 PM. The problem with melatonin PILLS is they're not regulated by the FDA sothe amount of the hormone in the pill isn't standardized. If you take too much, your bodymay get used to higher levels than you naturally produce. This isn't a drug to take willynilly,because it won't MAKE you sleep, it only HELPS you sleep. Scientific tests done with placebosand melatonin found no difference between the two. For people who don't like pills, psychologicalor behavioral training can help encourage
sleep, and has the added benefit of encouragingNATURAL sleep rather than sedation. The training starts with things as simple as cutting caffeinesix hours before bed, and turning off screens three hours before, as well as using redshiftsoftware like Flux to simulate evening sun on your computer screen. Have you ever taken a sleeping pillé Do youhave a bedtime routineé I find simply SAYING the word sleepy makes me more sleepy. isthat weirdé Yeah. I guess it kind of is. One place where you DON'T want to sleep isbehind the wheel, so why not make your car even MORE awesome! Check out Tekzilla's PatrickNorton who teamed up with Subaru to customize