Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea refers to a blockage of the upper airway during sleep that causes one to stop breathing periodically. This may leave people tired after a full night's rest. Significant factors in sleep apnea will be analyzed during this screening, including snoring, fatigue, history, neck circumference, etc.
The consequences of untreated sleep apnea are as follows:
- Increased risk of death
- Risk of high blood pressure
- Risk of coronary artery disease
- Risk of stroke
- Impairment of memory, cognition
- Risk of heart failure
- Risk of diabetes mellitus
Treatment plans vary based on each individual patient.
- Plan A is always simple things like weight loss, exercise, sleep positioning, nasal steroid spray, breathe-rite strips, and even dental appliances.
- Plan B is usually a type of CPAP. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It is a device that the patient wears (like a nose or face mask) that keeps the tissues from collapsing by continuously blowing positive air pressure into the nose.
- Plan C is surgery. This can vary from nasal airway surgery all the way to tonsil and palatal surgery and even involve the base of the tongue.