Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a medical condition where patients stop breathing during sleep. This can occur many times per hour of sleep. By definition, each apneic episode will last for at least 10 seconds. And in severe cases, apneic spells can occur more than 30 times an hour. As a result, oxygen levels drop repeatedly and lead to stress on the brain and heart.

Types of Sleep Apnea:

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnea:the most common type of sleep apnea where the upper airway collapse and obstructs during sleep.
  2. Central Sleep Apnea:In this condition the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscle controlling breathing during sleep.
  3. Mixed Sleep Apnea Syndrome:In this person has both obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea may result in heart problems and other complications. So, it is highly recommended that sleep apnea be treated promptly and effectively.

Predisposing factors for OSA

Some patients are more susceptible to developing OSA. These include

  1. Weight – Morbid obesity is closely related to OSA
  2. Nasal Blockage
  3. Large Tonsils, Adenoids – usually seen in children
  4. Large or posterior base of tongue – this is related to obesity, small lower jaw, large lingual tonsils

Procedure/treatment offered for Sleep Apnea and Snoring include;

  1. Weight Loss – key in every treatment plan
  2. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) treatment
  3. Surgery – aimed at widening the upper airway which includes the nasal passage, pharyngeal inlet and oropharynx
  4. Procedures to clear the nasal passage
    • Turbinate reduction
    • Septoplasty
    • Sinus Surgery
    • Nasal Polypectomy
  5. Procedures to widen pharyngeal inlet
    • Uvulopharyngopalatoplasty (UPPP)
    • Palatoplasty
    • Tonsillectomy
    • Adenoidectomy
  6. Procedures to widen the oropharynx
    • Coblation Base of tongue
    • Base of Tongue advancement
    • Mandibular advancement