Do your spouse or children complain that you snore? More than just an occasional whistling vibration, chronically loud snoring disturbs interpersonal relationships. Beyond that, snorers could be suffering from a dangerous condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA. For diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea, patients in Long Beach, CA turn to the Tan Head & Neck Clinic. Dr. Jesse Tan and Dr. Jesus Tan are highly experienced and credentialed otolaryngologists who make it their business to control sleep apnea so people sleep well and enjoy good health.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which the soft tissues at the back of the throat relax and cover the airway while the individual sleeps. What results is loud snoring, oxygen deprivation and multiple episodes of waking as the person literally gasps for air. Periods of apnea, or breathing cessation, last 10 seconds or more and occur multiple times a night.
The most common type of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea, or OSA, and less frequent is Central Sleep Apnea, or CSA, which is really a neurological problem. With CSA, the brain does not communicate properly with the respiratory system, and apnea occurs. Additionally, some individuals have features of OSA and CSA combined, a problem called Mixed Sleep Apnea.
Treatments for sleep apnea in Long Beach
The National Sleep Foundation says that 18 million adults in the United States struggle with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. These statistics concern the professional staff at Tan Head & Neck Clinic, and they offer specialized interventions and surgeries as needed to combat the problem. Common treatments include:
- CPAP machines A continuous positive airway pressure apparatus delivers a steady stream of air through a facial mask to the individual as he or she sleeps. This keeps the airway open and relieves the snoring and breathing cessation of sleep apnea.
- Oral appliance therapy A custom-made acrylic appliance worn at night places the lower jaw forward so the airway stays open.
Surgeries such as thermal ablation of excess soft tissue (by cautery, laser or other methods) and uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), which reduces tissue size in the nose, tongue and soft palate, help with sleep apnea. In addition, a revolutionary procedure using a surgical robot can also be performed to remove a portion of the base of tongue, significantly improving the airway and patients' sleep apnea. Dr. Tan is the only surgeon in the greater Long Beach area who is trained to do this highly specialized robotic procedure, and he has helped many people overcome their sleep apnea with this operation.
Simple common sense strategies help, too. The doctors encourage patients to:
- Lose weight if obesity is a problem
- Sleep on their sides rather than on their backs
- Avoid food and alcohol before bedtime
- Elevate the head of the bed to alleviate pressure on the neck
Do something about snoring
Don't ignore it. Systemic health problems such as diabetes and stroke are linked to sleep apnea. If you snore, contact Tan Head & Neck Clinic in Long Beach, CA for a consultation. You and your loved ones will sleep better, and you'll enjoy better overall health. Call (562) 988-8818 today.