Breathing that pauses during sleep is a condition referred to as sleep apnea. These pauses in breathing, also called apneas, can vary in length, from a few seconds to a few minutes. Often, a patient is unaware they have this condition. Excessive daytime drowsiness, especially when a patient thinks they have had a good night’s sleep, is a common symptom of sleep apnea. This condition affects more than 12 million Americans.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition on its own and can cause other health conditions, such as high blood pressure and memory problems.
Since this condition occurs during sleep, many patients do not realize they have it. Common sleep apnea symptoms include
- Snoring loudly
- Gasping during sleep
- Excessive daytime drowsiness
- Throat that is sore or dry in the morning
- Headaches in the morning
- Forgetfulness, depression, and other mood changes
- Chest pain at night
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, a specialist can conduct a sleep study (also known as a polysomnogram test). This may be conducted at a sleep center or home. The results of the test will determine next steps for treatment.
Patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea may benefit from nonsurgical treatments, such as modifying their lifestyle (losing weight, limiting alcohol intake, etc.), using a CPAP machine, or using a dental device at night. For patients with severe sleep apnea or patients who do not benefit from nonsurgical treatments, surgery may offer the best option.
Surgical treatment of sleep apnea widens the breathing passages by repositioning the upper and/or lower jaw. If you have been recommended for the surgical treatment of sleep apnea, your oral surgeon will conduct a thorough evaluation and tailor a treatment plan just for you. The severity of the condition will determine whether the procedure will take place in our office or a hospital setting.
Sleep Apnea Treatment at Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery
Dr. Brown provides the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery at Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery, including the surgical treatment of sleep apnea. Our offices are in Slidell, LA, and Mandeville, LA, and we are proud to serve the surrounding communities. If you would like to learn more about your options for the effective treatment of sleep apnea, we encourage you to call our office. We look forward to meeting you.