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.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea
MUSIC Obstructive sleep apnea. 30 million Americans may sufferfrom obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. It is more common thanadult diabetes and asthma, affecting 24% of men and 9% of women between the agesof 30 to 60 years of age. OSA is even more commonin overweight people and
persons older than60 years of age. It is a major risk factor for the development ofcardiovascular disease. Studies show that 80%of difficult to control hypertension, 50% ofcongestive heart failure, and 60% of strokes are relatedto undiagnosed OSA. Apnea means without breath, ifyou have obstructed sleep apnea you literally stop breathingwhile you're asleep.
The apnea can last fora few seconds to a minute or more, as many as 100 oftimes during the night. Forms of sleep apnea includeobstructive, central and mixed with obstructivebeing the most common type. OSA prevents you from reachingdeep stages of sleep, which the body needs to rest andreplenish itself. Causes ofObstructive Sleep Apnea. Even though the exact causeof OSA remains unclear,
the sleep disorderfollows a pattern. During the day muscles keepthe airway passages wide open. When a person withOSA falls asleep, these muscles relax to a pointwhere the airway collapses and causes a breathing pause. These breathing pauses occurbecause of a blockage in the upper airway. Usually when the soft tissuein the upper airway or
rear of the throat collapses. When the airway closes,breathing stops and the sleeper wakes upto open the airway. The sleeper thenreturns to sleep and the breathing pauseoccurs again. This pattern is repeated untilyou wake up for the day. Symptoms ofObstructive Sleep Apnea. OSA is most commonlyseen in overweight
people with loud snoring,breathing pauses, usually noticed by the bedpartner, daytime sleepiness, thrashing around in bed,morning headaches, a dry mouth in the morning, andgasping for breath at night. Loud snoring and daytime sleepiness are the mostcommon of these complaints. Other symptoms of OSAinclude memory problems, as well as difficultyconcentrating and thinking.
Sleep Troubles Heart Troubles
sleep troubles heart troubles sleepdisorders including too little or too much sleep may contribute to heartdisease risk factors the American Heart Association said in its first statementon the risks of sleep problems but the hard group stopped short of recommendinga certain amount of sleep per night we know that short sleep usually defined asunder seven hours per night overly long sleep usually defined as more than ninehours per night and sleep disorders may increase some cardiovascular riskfactors but we don't know if improving sleep quality reduces those risk factors
mariepierre street on said in a newsrelease from the heart association straight punch is an associate professorof nutritional medicine at columbia university in new york city at therequest of the heart association street on gender colleagues reviewed researchinto sleep and heart health much of the research focuses on insomnia insomnia isdefined as having trouble falling or staying asleep for at least three days aweek for three or more months another focus of the research has been sleepapnea that's a condition that causes a person's breathing to stop momentarilyan average of five or more times per
hour of sleep research has also linkedsleep problems to obesity and type 2 diabetes street unsaid those are the two main conditions inwhich there are intervention studies that show that risk factors areincreased when sleep is altered street unsaid but more research is needed tobetter understand the connections she added also more research is needed to providebetter insight into whether sleep troubles effect cholesteroltriglycerides and signs of inflammation
street unsaid finally she added additional research isneeded to determine whether poor sleep plays a causal role in type 2 diabeteshigh blood pressure and heart disease and stroke research so far hasn't showna direct link street and recommended that medical providers ask patientsabout the length of their sleep and whether they snore patients who areoverweight and snore should see a sleep specialist she suggested and those withgeneral sleep problems should be told how to improve sleep and be tracked overtime patients need to be aware that
adequate sleep is important just asbeing physically active and eating a balanced diet rich in fruits vegetableswhole grains lean meat and fish are important for cardiovascular health she said sleep is another type ofammunition that we can tailor to improve health street I'm suggested according tothe US National Heart Lung and Blood Institute about 50 million 270 millionadults in the united states have a sleep disorder or don't get enough sleep on aregular basis in 2009 about twentynine percent of americans got less than sevenhours of sleep nightly in 1977 that
number was twentytwo percent theresearchers said.