Nearly everyone snores from time to time, but if snoring has become a regular habit, you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is particularly dangerous because it can increase your risk of developing several serious conditions, such as heart attack and stroke. Dr. Jesse Tan and Dr. Jesus Tan, your Long Beach, CA ear, nose and throat doctors, share information about several sleep apnea treatments that may benefit you.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines
Sleep apnea occurs when the walls of your throat and soft palate collapse when you sleep, blocking your airway. The problem can be compounded if your tongue falls against the back of your throat. During the night, you may stop breathing hundreds of time for a few seconds each time. Unfortunately, each time you stop breathing, your brain is deprived of oxygen.
A CPAP machine keeps everything open by forcing a steady stream of air into your airway. The air is delivered through a special mask that you wear while you sleep. Getting used to the mask can take a while, and you may need to try a few until you find one that's right for you.
Thermal ablation uses heat to reduce the size of the tissues in your soft palate, base of your tongue and the nasal turbinates inside your nose. Your Long Beach doctor may use laser, radiofrequency or bipolar cautery to perform thermal ablation.
UPP is a surgical procedure that your doctor uses to remove excess soft palate tissue that can block your airway. As the area heals, it becomes stiffer, which can decrease snoring caused by tissue vibration.
During a surgical procedure, your doctor places rigid rods in your soft palate. The rods prevent your airway from collapsing when you sleep.
Oral appliances fitted by an ENT or dentist can also help relieve sleep apnea, although they're not as effective as a CPAP machine. The device is worn while you sleep and works by moving your jaw forward and preventing your tongue from falling back into your throat.
Do you constantly jerk awake during the night and feel extremely tired during the day? You may be suffering from sleep apnea. Dr. Jesse and Dr. Jesus Tan, your Long Beach, CA ear, nose and throat doctors, can offer treatments that will help you get a good night's sleep and avoid long-term health problems. Call them at (562) 988-8818 to schedule an appointment.