Snoring can be a big problem because of the other conditions that it can cause. It can be an indication that you are suffering from excess sleepiness. That excess sleepiness can cause you to fall asleep while driving or in other dangerous situations that can result in injury or death.
Snoring can also indicate that you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a condition where airflow is blocked when you sleep. When airflow is blocked, your heart and blood vessels work harder. When this happens, you may feel tired during the day, which is associated with several serious health problems.
There are different ways to address OSA. This article will present the conservative and surgical treatment options.
Non-Surgical Ways to Fix OSA
Before undergoing surgery, you may want to consider these methods:
Weight gain is the most common cause of snoring and OSA. If you are overweight, losing the excess weight can help you from snoring and reduce your apnea episodes. You will also feel better and be more active. If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or other weight-related conditions, you should talk to your doctor before starting any weight loss program.
If you are a smoker, it may exacerbate your OSA. Smoking can increase the amount of phlegm in your throat, making it more difficult for you to breathe at night.
Improve Your Sleeping Position
Sometimes, sleeping on your back might not be the best position for you. Consider undergoing a sleep study to determine if you are more prone to OSA when sleeping on your back. It may be a good idea to sleep on your side or stomach. It would be best if you also considered adjusting your mattress and pillows.
Often, the best treatment for OSA is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. This machine provides a steady airflow into your airway to keep it open. CPAP machines may be bulky and uncomfortable, but wide varieties are now available that are very lightweight and comfortable.
Surgical Ways to Fix OSA
If the nonsurgical methods don’t improve your symptoms, surgical procedures can help. Here are some procedures you may undergo:
Nasal surgery aims to clear the nasal passages and open the airway. The surgery can be done using different techniques, but more commonly, it is done using a laser. It can be a superior method to stop the snoring problem.
The hyoid bone is the U-shaped bone in the neck. When the hyoid is too low and in the wrong position, it can pull the tongue down, affecting the airway. The airway can open by placing a small piece of plastic in the body of the hyoid bone and suspending it.
Removal of Tongue Depressors
The tongue can sometimes obstruct the airway. It may be a good idea to see a specialist about having a tongue depressor removed through a small incision in the front or the back of the mouth.
In some cases, the spacing between the maxilla (upper jaw) and the mandible (lower jaw) is too narrow, thus making it difficult to breathe at night, causing snoring and sleep apnea. Surgery involves wires to move the jaw forward and open the airway.
The surgery will be performed in a hospital or a surgery center. It can last thirty minutes to four hours, depending on the surgery. You may also be given general or local anesthesia or request to be awake throughout the surgery. Regardless of the surgery duration, you can go home the same day.
The recovery process will depend on the type of surgery that you have done. You will be given a list of medications to take after surgery and recommendations on taking care of yourself. The recovery process can take up to six weeks.
The most crucial step you should take when you want to get over OSA is to visit the right specialist. There are many different non-surgical and surgical treatment options available, but you must choose the one that will suit you best.
Dallas Surgical Arts can take care of your cosmetic and health surgery needs. We provide many cosmetic procedures like jaw surgery and rhinoplasty in Dallas, TX, to improve and change your lives. Request a consultation today.