Sleep apnea disrupts breathing during sleep, causing patients to stop breathing for anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Both surgical and nonsurgical treatments are available at our offices in Charleston, Hurricane (Teays Valley), Huntington, Parkersburg, and Beckley, WV. It’s important to visit an oral surgeon for a consultation so they can determine the best course of treatment. Treating sleep apnea can prevent more serious health issues from arising in the future.
Sleep Apnea and Symptoms
Most sleep apnea symptoms occur at night, making them hard for a patient to identify unless a partner or roommate alerts them to the signs. However, certain sleep apnea symptoms occur during the day as a result of your affected sleeping patterns. The most common symptoms associated with sleep apnea include
- Breaks in breathing during sleep (and a gasping sound when you resume breathing)
- Drowsiness during the day (even after you get a full night’s sleep)
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Mood changes, such as depression and irritability
- Waking up with a dry mouth or throat
Sleep apnea most commonly occurs among older male patients, but anyone can develop the condition. If you suffer from any or all of the above symptoms, you should visit a sleep specialist. Sleep specialists can accurately diagnose you and determine if you require sleep apnea treatment. When untreated, sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and other problems. We encourage you to seek treatment as soon as possible if you think you may be affected by sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
At Mountain State Oral & Facial Surgery, we always consider nonsurgical treatment as the first step. We only resort to surgical intervention when other methods are unsuccessful. Factors such as weight, alcohol consumption, and sleeping position can all affect your condition. If weight loss, a reduction in alcohol intake, or a CPAP (breathing assistant) machine are ineffective, we may consider oral surgery. We offer a variety of procedures to treat sleep apnea, including the following:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, also known as UPPP, is a procedure that alters the soft tissue at the back of the throat to clear the airway. Tightening this excess tissue (or even removing it) improves breathing function and can eliminate the breaks in breathing during sleep. In addition to UPPP, there are laser-assisted surgeries that treat the soft palate and similarly clear the airway.
- Corrective jaw surgery is effective for patients whose sleep apnea is not treated or not able to be treated with a CPAP machine. CPAP machines are designed to push more oxygen into the airway during sleeping, but sometimes the jaws are in a position that will not allow this method to be effective. In these instances, one of our oral surgeons can perform corrective jaw surgery, repositioning the jaws to create more space in the airway. This treatment is much more involved than other sleep apnea treatments, but it has a 95% success rate for treating obstructive sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Treatment at Mountain State Oral & Facial Surgery
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, we encourage you to contact one of our offices in Charleston, Hurricane, Huntington, Parkersburg, or Beckley, WV. One of our oral surgeons can examine your condition and determine which nonsurgical or surgical treatment best fits your needs. You can learn more about the treatments available by speaking to a friendly member of our staff and scheduling a consultation appointment.