If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, there are medical and surgical procedures available to you that can minimize symptoms or completely eliminate your condition. Initial therapy is usually with nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which is a mask that is worn over your nose that blows in air to keep the airways open during sleep.
Most of these machines are easily portable for those who travel frequently, and newer technology has enabled these machines to operate more quietly and fit more comfortably. CPAP is extremely effective for those patients who keep the mask on all night long. Patients usually notice a significant improvement in their daytime function after initiating nasal CPAP therapy.
For those who are unable to tolerate nasal CPAP or who wish to pursue a permanent surgical cure for sleep apnea, several options are available. One option is oral appliance therapy, a non-surgical treatment that involves using a custom-fit oral appliance to prevent airway obstruction during sleep. Other minimally invasive and surgical procedures include treatments for the nasal airway, enlarged tonsils, soft palate tissue, uvula and the base of the tongue.
In certain patients with obstructive sleep apnea, the Pillar Procedure can be performed in the office or at the same time as other airway surgeries. The Pillar Procedure stiffens the soft palate and can prevent its collapse into the airway during sleep.
Regardless of which avenue you choose to pursue, it is important to realize that obstructive sleep apnea is a complex condition that is dangerous to your health and can even be life threatening. If you are a chronic snorer and think you may be suffering from sleep apnea, schedule an evaluation with one of Atlanta Snoring Institute’s physicians.