Millions of Americans fail to get a good night’s rest because of sleep apnea. Left untreated, the condition can be deadly, so patients in Pinole seek out the services of a sleep apnea doctor that can help them get some relief.
About Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disruption of normal breathing during sleep. There are different types of the disorder, with the most common being obstructive sleep apnea. This condition often results when the airways become blocked during sleep, and this interrupts the flow of air through the nose or mouth. If it is not treated, the condition can result in complications such strokes or heart disease.
Individuals with sleep apnea have difficulty breathing while asleep, because when the throat muscles relax, this somehow narrows the airways, causing a blockage. The blockage that occurs may be the result of weak muscles in the throat, or excess fat around the throat. Doctors in Pinole often perform an overnight sleep study, in order to confirm that a patient is in fact suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
Conventional treatment for sleep apnea requires patients to wear a special mask in bed. This device is used to keep the airways open during sleep. While the mask is effective, many patients find it problematic and uncomfortable. As a result, alternative methods have been explored, and options like laser treatment are now considered effective alternatives.
Laser Treatment for sleep apnea
Snoring is often a symptom of sleep apnea, and is caused by an obstruction in the flow of air in the upper airway. This obstruction often causes tissues within the nose and roof of the mouth, (particularly the uvula and soft palate), to vibrate during breathing. It is this vibration that gives rise to snoring.
Laser treatment is now available for sleep apnea in the form of laser assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP). This is a surgical procedure in which the excess tissue from the throat is removed. Removing this tissue prevents obstruction in the upper airways.
LAUP is a relatively simple procedure that can be performed under local anesthesia. Plastic surgeons in Pinole usually perform laser treatment for sleep apnea on an outpatient basis in their office. Patients may experience some pain after surgery, but this usually eases within 5 to 7 days. LAUP is considered an affordable and comfortable treatment option for sleep apnea. Most patients experience a reduction in snoring after the obstruction has been removed.