People with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue is sucked against the back of the throat. This blocks the upper airway and airflow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens, the obstruction in the throat clears, and the flow of air starts again, usually with a loud gasp.
Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. Additionally, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.
Some patients have obstructions that are less severe called Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS). In either case, the individuals suffer many of the same symptoms.
The first step in treatment resides in recognition of the symptoms and seeking appropriate consultation. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons offer consultation and treatment options.
In addition to a detailed history, the doctors will assess the anatomic relationships in the maxillofacial region. To confirm the amount of cardiovascular compromise and decreased oxygenation levels, a sleep study may be recommended to monitor an individual overnight.
Occasionally, snoring can be a sign of a more serious underlying problem. Snoring occurs when air is obstructed from entering your airway by relaxed and collapsed musculature.
Snoring can lead to periods of apnea (episodes of cessation of breathing) and can cause daytime sleepiness, heart problems, impaired memory, irritability, straining social relationships, and poor work place performance.
Our office specializes in diagnosing and treating snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. We offer the Pillar Procedure, which can be done in our office, to help significantly reduce snoring.
To learn more about the procedure, please visit http://www.restoremedical.com/pillar.asp
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