Sleep apnea is a common medical condition, which causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start while you sleep. Although the pauses may only last seconds, they can occur 30 or more times an hour in some people.
The most common form of the condition is obstructive apnea, which occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat sag or collapse. The collapse blocks the airway, which can lead to snoring and a pause in breathing.
Although sleep apnea has a variety of symptoms including snoring, restless sleep and morning fatigue and headaches, it often goes undiagnosed. Unfortunately without a proper diagnosis, the condition is not treated.
How Does Sleep Apnea Impact You?
If you have sleep apnea, the quality of sleep you get is often poor, which leads to daytime fatigue. But that’s not all. The sleep disorder is also associated with a variety of serious medical conditions and can impact your overall health in a negative way. For example, sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure. Researchers believe hormonal changes and dipping oxygen levels may contribute to hypertension.
Also, sleep apnea is associated with cardiac problems. It may be due to dropping oxygen levels overnight, or the repeated stress on the body from interrupted sleep but heart disease, atrial fibrillation and heart attacks are all linked to sleep apnea. A study published in the Journal of The American Thoracic Society indicated that having sleep apnea increases your risk of a heart attack by 30 percent over a four-year period.
Sleep apnea is also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, acid reflux and mental health issues, which is why getting a good night sleep is essential for your over wellbeing.
That’s where Dr. Volpi can help. Dr. Volpi is a board certified ear, nose and throat specialist in private practice on the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
In addition to his private practice, he is founder and CEO of eos sleep, which is a nationally recognized center for the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea. With over 28 years of experience, Dr. Volpi can diagnose your condition and review your treatment options.
The process starts with a sleep test, which is performed in your own home. After reviewing the results, Dr. Volpi will explain treatment options based on your condition and preferences.
What Treatment Options Are Available?
Sleep apnea is a complex issue and there is not a one size fits all treatment approach. There are a variety of treatment options including both non-surgical and surgical options.
Non-surgical treatment options include wearing a dental device while sleeping that keeps the throat open for better airflow. Using a CPAP may also be recommended for some patients. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. CPAP involves wearing a small nasal mask, attached to a machine that uses air pressure to prevent your airway from collapsing.
There may be instances, where non-surgical treatments do not work and surgical treatments are recommended. The type of surgical procedure recommended will depend on your specific circumstances.
Surgical treatment options include a pillar procedure, a minimally invasive surgery that involves placing several soft implants into the soft palate. This prevents the palate from collapsing into the throat and improves airflow. Additional surgical options include a tongue advancement procedure, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty and laser assisted uvulopalatoplasty.
The best treatment approach may depend on the severity of your symptoms and your overall health. Dr. Volpi will review each treatment option including the benefits of each to determine what approach would best suit your needs.
Getting a better night’s sleep will not only leave you feeling refreshed, but it can also improve your mood and energy level. Morning headaches and fatigue can be a thing of the past. But improved sleep is not the only thing you have to gain by treating sleep apnea. You also decrease your risk of serious health problems and improve your overall quality of life.
Book an appointment and get started on the road to quality treatment and better health.