Obstructive Sleep Apnea

It is estimated that 30-50% of the US population snore at one time or another.  Snoring can be caused by and/or lead to other health problems, and put stress on the individual or family. It can also be an indicator of a more serious medical condition. 

People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygenation, meaning not the right amount of oxygen is reaching their bloodstream.  It is estimated that 1 in 5 adults have some degree of sleep apnea.   

Symptoms of sleep apnea can include:

  • snoring with pauses in breathing
  • excessive daytime drowsiness
  • gasping or choking during sleep
  • impaired concentration
  • decreased energy
  • irritability
  • restless sleep
  • morning headaches
  • a large neck
  • problems with excess weight

OSA is a medical condition that has the potential to be life threatening.  The risks of undiagnosed and untreated OSA include:

  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • an irregular heartbeat
  • decreased libido
  • depression

Sleep Apnea can be categorized as mild, moderate or severe.  If our doctors suspect that you have OSA, you will be referred to a sleep clinic to have a sleep study test called polysomnography. During this study, a C-PAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device is used to help keep the airway open. C-PAP can be an effective way to treat OSA, but there are other effective therapies.

Sometimes non-medical treatments such as weight loss, change in sleep position, and avoidance of sedatives such as alcohol may be enough to treat mild sleep apnea, either with or without a C-PAP. 

Our doctors utilize a variety of treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and can often help patients who cannot tolerate C-PAP or need additional therapy. Treating this sensitive condition involves trial and error, and an oral surgeon is specially trained to evaluate the severity of the patient's condition and determine the best course of action.

OSA is a serious medical condition that requires special attention and treatment. If you have bothersome snoring and/or think you may have obstructive sleep apnea, it is important to be evaluated.