Surgery for Sleep Apnea: What You Need to Know

Morning headaches, snoring and excessive sleepiness during daytime are all symptoms of an obstructive sleep apnea. It is a disorder wherein a person temporarily stops breathing at night and these gaps in breathing are so called apneas. People at risk on this sleep disorder are overweight, smokers and alcohol drinker. Males and those who reached over 40 years old are commonly affected by this condition.

By getting a deeper understanding of these problems, you can fairly determine whether you need to undergo surgery for sleep apnea or not. In addition, evaluation of these conditions will help the doctor as to which type of surgery is suitable for you.

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When should you consider going through surgery?

Surgery for sleep apnea is usually recommended for very severe cases of sleep apnea. It can be considered as the last and feasible option at times when the patient has been through using breathing devices such as positive airway pressure therapy or has already used sleep apnea mouth guard but the problem still persists. Some patients may also look at noninvasive treatment options intolerable; therefore, surgical treatments may be advised.

What are the different types of surgery available?

For patients looking for the best surgical option for their condition, here are the different methods that doctors usually recommend to sleep apnea and other sleep disorder sufferers:

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  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty – Abbreviated as UPPP, this surgery for sleep apnea involves elimination of the tonsils (if they still exist) and subsequently, a palatal procedure is performed. Afterwards, the pillars of the tonsils are stitched to close and the uvula or the fleshy part that extends at the back of the palate above the throat is cut, trimmed, folded or stitched securely at the soft palate. For more advanced facilities, the procedure is assisted with laser surgery for sleep apnea with the aim to give patients a less invasive surgical treatment.
  • Hyoid suspension – This throat surgery for sleep apnea is done with the aim to give more room for breathing on the lower section of the throat. In this procedure, the U-shaped hyoid bone is drawn forward and secured in place. This hyoid bone is where the tongue and other parts of the throat are attached.

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  • Radiofrequency tissue reduction – The procedure is normally advised to patients with mild to moderate sleep disorders. It is done by performing cauterization, a method that tightens and shrinks the throat’s tissues and the parts around it. Usually, it is utilized in the tongue, soft palate, and tongue.
  • Genioglossus advancement – As you sleep, the tongue moves backward; thus obstructing the space where air passes from the throat. To correct the problem, this jaw surgery for sleep apnea makes use of a tongue attachment, which pulls it forward. This also involves a cut in the lower jaw, wherein the bone is pulled forward to give more space for breathing as the patient sleeps.

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  • Lingualplasty – The surgery is done by trimming some of the back part of the tongue. By making the tongue smaller, airway blockage is assisted in patients suffering from sleep apnea.
  • Pillar Palatal Implant – This is a noninvasive type of surgical treatment used for patients with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea. The main focus of this procedure however is to reduce snoring. The physician inserts 3 short pieces of polyster string into the soft palate reducing its vibration and movement.  This procedure only takes about 10 minutes and can be done right from your doctor’s office.


There are several methods on surgical treatment for severe cases of sleep apnea that you can try. Inevitably, there are risks in every option presented. Thus, it is always best to consult your doctor to know which works best for you.

Important Considerations for the Treatment for Sleep Apnea

If you have been experiencing symptoms such as short breath, dry mouth, morning headaches, drowsiness and abrupt awakenings, then you should ask your doctor about the treatment for sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder where a person stops breathing many times when sleeping. A person may stop breathing for up to one minute each time. If this condition is not treated on timely manner, then it could result in more serious conditions such as cardiovascular diseases and hypertension. This explains why it is very crucial to treat this condition the moment you realize that you have it. There usually two main types of sleep apnea which are;

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  • Obstructive sleep apnea – This type will occur when throat muscles relax during sleep.
  • Central sleep apnea -This type occurs when the brains fails to send the right signals to the muscles which control breathing.

Treatments for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The following are the treatment options available for obstructive sleep apnea condition;

  • [CPAP]Continuous positive airway pressure – In this method, a machine is used to deliver air pressure via a mask placed on your nose as you sleep. This process ensures that the air pressure is slightly greater than that of the surrounding air ad this helps to keep the air passages open. By so doing, you are able to prevent apnea and snoring.

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  • [EPAP] Expiratory positive airway pressure – These are devices which are placed on the nostrils before you go to sleep. This device allows free movement of air when you inhale but forces the air to pass through small holes in it when you are exhaling. This process creates pressure on the airways thus ensuring that they are open throughout your sleep.
  • Sleep apnea mouth guard – This is a devices that have been specifically designed to ensure that there is no obstruction on the airway either by changing the position of the tongue or altering the position of the jaws.
  • Surgery – If the other treatment options have failed, surgery is considered. The main reason why surgery will be carried out is to enlarge the airways from the nose through the throat thereby helping the patient get rid of snoring. The surgery may involve jaw repositioning, tissue removal, tracheostomy as well as implants.

Treatment for Central Sleep Apnea

The other kind of sleep apnea has its own recommended treatments and it is worth taking note of this important information;

  • Treatment of underlying medical conditions – Treating some of the possible causes of this condition could help to alleviate this condition. Some of the conditions that could result in this type of apnea include neurovascular disorders and heart conditions.
  • Supplemental oxygen – Supplemental oxygen could play an important role in curbing this type of sleep apnea. There are various devices and forms of oxygen which can be used for this reason.

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  • Continuous positive airway pressure – it involves wearing a mask on your nostrils as you sleep. A pump is used to ensure that there is air in your airways to prevent them from falling. This process helps to prevent obstruction.
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation – This is a new treatment for sleep apnea. This device has the capacity to learn a person’s breathing patterns and then storing that information in a built in computer. When a person is asleep, the device uses pressure to ensure that you breathe continuously without stopping.

 Natural Treatment for Sleep Apnea

Each treatment for sleep apnea mentioned above can cost you few dollars to several hundreds but their natural alternatives that you can consider;

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  • Learn to sleep on your side– Sleeping on your back makes it easier for the soft palate and the tongue to collapse thus blocking the airways
  • Avoid alcohol, muscle relaxing medications and sleeping pills– These items relaxes throat muscles making it easy for them to collapse and block the airways.
  • Get rid of extra weight– Obesity and being overweight increases one’s chances of suffering from obstructive apnea. Ask you nutritionist about dietary changes that you should make to lose this extra weight.
  • Stop smoking– Smoking has been found to cause the swelling of upper airway. This will not only worsen snoring but also apnea.

These are all proven effective and each treatment for sleep apnea must be considered seriously for effective results.

Sleep Apnea Side Effects

Sleep Apnea is a stressful condition for many people and is characterized by instances of shallow breathing or even pauses in breathing during sleep. The pauses in breathing are called “apnea” in scientific terms and can occur up to 30 times in an hour. One way to tell if a person suffers from this condition is if they snore. Sleep apnea occurs when air flow is interrupted despite respiratory effort. When this happens, the victim is deep asleep and cannot tell if they had any difficulty breathing. Many people only learn that they suffer from this condition when others start to notice and they also complain of side effects of sleep apnea. It is the silent manifestation of sleep apnea that makes it so dangerous and nobody ever wants to suffer the wrath of sleep apnea side effects at any point in life.

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Sleep Apnea Side Effects

  • Migraines

If you often have to deal with a migraine, the real problem might be sleep apnea. When breathing pauses, there is oxygen depletion which leads to constriction of tiny blood vessels in your brain. Due to this constriction, one might experience severe headaches when they wake up.

  • Snoring

This is the first and most obvious sleep apnea side effects that you could have. Not all people who snore suffer from this condition but constants indicate that many with sleep apnea actually snore. It is therefore wise to see an expert to dispel any fears of sleep apnea if they snore.

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  • Poor Immune system

The immune system of a person suffering from sleep apnea is thoroughly compromised. This is because such people seldom have enough sleep and if expert studies are anything to go by, people who do not sleep well have poor immune systems. This condition opens you up to many dangers because when you body’s immune system is down, there is a high chance of infections attacking it.

  • Irritability

When person has not slept well through the night, they become more temperamental. This is because they are fatigued due to sleep apnea but do not even realize it. Flaring short tempers of sleep apnea sufferers may cause them to tae drastic actions at home or office.

  • High Blood Pressure

Studies show that people with sleep apnea are more likely to develop hypertension. High blood pressure is something everyone wants to avoid because it is the doorway to a horde of otter complications like heart disease, obesity and more.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The risky nature of sleep apnea side effects prompted research into foolproof ways to stop the apnea and save as many lives as possible. The commonly used methods of handling sleep apnea are;

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· CPAP Machine

The continuous positive airway pressure machine opens up the airway as you sleep through a flow of pressurized air into the throat. You are required to wear a face mask connected to a bedside CPAP machine. Though the device is effective in reducing apnea, many patients find it very uncomfortable and barely use it for the recommended duration. One of sleep apnea CPAP side effects is bloating and cramps. In fact, some people complained that the cramps were so severe they had trouble sitting up.

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· Sleep apnea mouth guard

This is a welcome device to sufferers of the life threatening condition. Its main purpose is to open your throat and widen the airways. This way, you can breathe easier without the use of a CPAP machine. This innovation wards of the sleep apnea machine side effects to add more value to your days.

Sleep apnea is a negative condition which slows affects people’s lives and those around them. This will pose a great threat in your breathing patterns that could be lethal if not corrected. If you are tired of interrupted sleep and episodes of breathlessness, buy a sleep apnea mouth guard; the best protection against nasty effects of sleep apnea. Consult your general practitioner about your sleep and breathing problems.

A Closer Look At Sleep Apnea Causes

Sleep apnea causes is what many people have been struggling to find out so as to get the right treatment for the disorder. This is a sleep disorder that occurs when breathing gets interrupted during sleep. There are several things that lead to this condition. During sleep, some people may experience relaxation of the throat muscles and the tongue hence blocking the airway opening partially. The relaxation of the muscles at the base of the tongue and uvula causes the blockage the airway opening. This result in a person’s breathing becoming noisy and difficult at the same time. The following are some of the sleep apnea causes:

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Excessive Fat or Obesity

Overweight people have too much soft tissue in their airway thus making it to narrow down. So, as much as they try to breathe in and out normally, it becomes difficult for air to smoothly flow in and out of the nose or mouth. The affected person, due to the fact that he or she is asleep, does not realize that he or she is experiencing breathing problems or snoring loudly. As a result, the person tends to move from deep sleep to light sleep frequently. It has been estimated that almost 70% of the people suffering from obese suffer from this disorder.

Consumption of Alcohol and Use of Drugs

In vulnerable people, such as the aged, alcohol and drugs causes relaxation of breathing system muscles hence causing this sleep disorder. The use of sleeping pills and consumption of alcohol will increase the possible length and frequency of time of the breathing pauses for a person with sleep apnea.

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Individual Physical Characteristics

Distinct physical characteristics such as deviated septum, receding chin, enlarged tongue and the general shape of the head and neck also causes sleep apnea.

  • Tonsils and large adenoids. These two conditions can cause nasal blockage resulting to sleep apnea. Additionally, nasal blockage can occur due to smoking, colds or sinusitis.
  • Thyroid gland diseases are also a major cause of this condition.

What Causes Central Sleep Apnea?

This type of disorder occurs due to the brain failing to send signals to the breathing muscles. As a result, the muscles relax, leading to the constriction of the airway which prevents smooth flow of air in and out of the lungs. The affected individual abruptly wakes up, experiencing shortness of breath. In this case, once the person is awakened, it becomes difficult for the individual to get back to sleep. Central sleep apnea patients are more likely remember sleep interruptions, unlike obstructive sleep apnea patients.

What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

This is a helpful list of the causes but is not limited to;

  • Obesity
  • Use of sedatives
  • Big overbite
  • Round head
  • Micrognathia
  • A deviated septum that can lead to upper airway congestion

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  • Acromegaly
  • Retrognathia
  • Growth of a tumor in the airway
  • Reduced muscle tone because of a neurological disorder, drugs or alcohol
  • Narrow throat
  • Neuromuscular disorders affecting the airway muscles
  • Brain injury
  • Down syndrome or Pierre-Robin syndrome
  • Smoking

Sleep apnea causes irritability, depression, sexual problems, and memory and learning issues. Mostly, the spouses of those suffering from the condition may be the first people to notice this problem. A struggle to breathe and loud snoring during the night is a good indication of the emergence of the problem.

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The most effective treatment for sleep apnea which most people find comfortable is a sleep apnea mouth guard. Many sleep apnea sufferers have found a great source of relief from their conditions with this device

Regardless of what the causes and symptoms of central sleep apnea and obstructive sleep apnea are, it is advisable to seek treatment immediately. In fact, sleep apnea causes daytime sleepiness which can mess up your work and cause depression and road accidents plus a number of fatal health problems such as heart attacks, strokes and high blood pressure. Therefore, identifying the sleep apnea causes and cures can enable one to get treated at the earliest because if delayed, this problem can worsen and cause more lethal disorders.

Sleep Apnea Test – Accurately Testing and Detecting Sleep Apnea

When discussing sleep apnea test, it is important to clearly understand what this sleep disorder is all about. You may have experienced yourself or someone having difficulties in sleeping, snoring quite loudly and intermittently. This is further categorized by repeated breathing at intervals. Then at the end of this difficult sleep, you wake up feeling quite tired. If you experience this conditions or know someone who does then chances of your sleep apnea test results becoming positive are very high in this case. The risky moment is however during the short period that breathing stops during sleep when experiencing sleep apnea. The end result of untreated apnea is complications or even heart problems.

Common Causes of Sleep Apnea

There are varied causes for this condition but all point at irregular passage of air through the throat. During any sleep apnea test, the place to concentrate on is muscles that control breathing. They are most likely not controlling air flow well. But there are quite a number of reasons why these muscles could not be control breathing effectively as required. These include:

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  • Some other neurological medical conditions or trauma
  • Physical discomfort like choking or strangulation
  • Drug induced
  • Voluntarily acquired among others

But all these causes may each result in one of the two types of sleep apnea.

  • Obstructive sleep apnea is the more common type that occurs when muscles of the throat relax. This is the most common type.
  • Central sleep apnea that occurs when there are improper signals being sent by the brain to the muscles that control breathing. A result is an improper breathing that starts and stops irregularly.

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Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

This sleep disorder is first detected at home when you realize there is a problem with sleep. When the sleeping difficulty is accompanied by loud snoring, intermittent breathing and tired after sleep, then it could be right to suspect sleep apnea. Such a simple home sleep apnea test should however be treated as an assumption only. The next step should be to visit a sleep specialist found in one of the many sleep apnea centers, for instance an ENT doctor or lung and nerves specialists. What they do basically include the following sleep apnea test:

  • Sleeping patterns – this is the most accurate test to determine whether your condition is actually serious or it happened only once or twice and then it’s gone. History of poor sleep pattern could indicate sleep apnea.
  • Your doctor may also ask you to keep a record how you sleep for about two weeks. The results you put down could back up other symptoms you have of apnea.

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  • Your family medical history – the doctor may have it easier to conclude the test if anyone in your family could have been diagnosed with sleep apnea or whether it is actually your parent with a history of this disorder.
  • Physical examination – this entails your doctor examining patients’ oral cavity to check for any abnormally large tissues that could hinder breathing muscle normal contraction. The most obvious conclusion is when one has an enlarged soft palate or enlarged tonsils.

However sleep apnea test centers is recommended. This is an advanced and more accurate sleep apnea test method. It involves testing of:

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  • Amount of oxygen in the blood
  • Check movement to indicate difficult moving
  • Heart rate ad
  • Air flow through the nose when breathing

Recommended Treatments for Sleep Apnea

The good news is that the condition is reversible of treatable. The most common way to overcome this disorder is using sleep apnea mouth guard. This is an oral appliance that is fitted in the mouth by specialist to enhance air movement during sleep. It corrects the disorder gradually with time.

What is Sleep Apnea: A Closer Look

People who are unaware about this sleeping disorder usually ask the question “what is sleep apnea”. It is a condition which complicates the breathing process when people sleep. A lot of people suffer from this condition without even realizing it. Sleep apnea disrupts your sleep and if ignored for a long time, it will completely ruin your sleep cycle.

Most sleep apnea patients complain of choking and gasping in their sleep. This problem is a very traumatic condition for patients as it can result in fear of sleeping. This is where the question of “what is severe sleep apnea” comes in. This problem can have a detrimental impact on your lifestyle if you choose to ignore it.

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Many patients have self diagnosed this condition by taking online tests to determine whether they have it or not. However, it is best to consult a doctor and enroll in a sleep study as soon as you can in order to get this disease treated as soon as possible. You might consider making a sleep diary to record your problems so that you can give an accurate description to your physician.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

For people, who ask the question “what is sleep apnea”, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of this medical condition. This will help them to detect it at an early stage. These symptoms include:

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  • Lack of the ability to concentrate during daytime
  • Constant headaches in the morning
  • Horrible mood swings and getting irritated without any valid reason
  • Frequent urination during the sleeping hours
  • Waking up with a sore throat of a dry mouth

Different types of sleep apnea

 1.       What is obstructive sleep apnea?

This is one of the most usual types of sleep apnea that occurs when the soft flap in a person’s throat causes constriction in the airway. As a result you end up snoring. This issue is usually associated with overweight males. It is often a genetic problem that is also seen in smokers.

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 2.       What is central sleep apnea?

This is a rare form of apnea which does not have snoring as a symptom. It is caused because of some defect in the central nervous system. In this condition the brain is unable to control the breathing pattern. This form of apnea is the more dangerous of the two because it is associated with serious heart conditions, any neurological disease and spinal or brain stem injury. It is usually caused in males

3.       What is complex sleep apnea?

This form of apnea is a combination of the above two problems. It is very rare and needs to be diagnosed as soon as possible.

Treatment for sleep apnea

There are many things that you can do to reduce your sleep apnea. You might consider looking online for some throat exercises which will help you in reducing sleep apnea. For people suffering from sleep apnea, it is best to avoid sleeping on the back. The impact of gravity worsens sleep apnea. Overweight patients of sleep apnea need to reduce their weight. This can help you in reducing its ill effects. For regular smokers suffering from sleep apnea, it is best to quit smoking before the condition gets aggravated.

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Surgery is another option which you can look into to get rid of sleep apnea. However, this option is best reserved for cases when personal and doctor recommended remedies do not work. You might consider buying a sleep apnea mouth guard. It is very helpful in avoiding any form of obstruction in your airway.

If you want to know more about this condition, then you might consider searching the net for “what is sleep apnea”. The internet is an excellent source for information regarding this problem. You will be better able to understand the mechanics which are involved in this condition. This will help you in understanding the cause of your sleep apnea and treat it in an efficient manner.