Obstructive sleep apnea
is a common problem among patients. This is a disorder in which the patient complains of snoring
, frequent awakenings at night, fatigue throughout the day, etc. If you are concerned that you may have sleep apnea or concerned about the treatment, please see you physician to have these issues addressed.
There are different ways in which to treat obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP, which is continuous positive airway pressure, can be used to treat sleep apnea and is virtually 100% in treating this disorder. This involves continuous pressure to help keep the airway open. This is the first line treatment for sleep apnea. This is also used as treatment for patients who are not surgical candidates. Many patients do not tolerate this because of the masks, the amount of pressure required to achieve and normal apnea-hypopnea index or because of claustrophobia.
If CPAP is not tolerated, surgical options are usually explored. Sometimes CPAP is not tolerated because of nasal congestion and/or deviated septum. Septoplasty can be performed in these cases and can sometimes improve the nasal airway enough that patients will tolerate CPAP.
Other surgical treatments of sleep apnea include uvulopalatopharyngoplasty which includes removal of the tonsils, and trimming of the soft palate/uvula to help increase the size of the airway and prevent collapse of soft tissues into the airway.
If you are concerned about sleep apnea and future problems you should see your physician and discuss these issues with your physician.