Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder that not only results in sleep deprivation but can ultimately lead to even more serious health problems, including diabetes, heart disease and stroke — if left untreated.
In the past, OSA sufferers often faced the knife, as doctors would try to literally clean up their soft palate and vuvula to prevent the snoring and breathing cesssation caused by OSA.
Today, however, minimally invasive, in-office procedures done by sleep professionals (such as those found at The Snoring Center) can often “cure” your sleep apnea woes with little or no side effects or discomfort from the procedure.
The FDA-approved Pillar Procedure works by placing small woven implants into the soft palate, which stiffen the palate and reduce snoring. For moderate sleep apnea, this often works like magic.
Turbinate Coblation is another quick, painless office procedure that can provide years of effective relief from nasal congestion, pressure and drainage, all of which can contribute to sleep disorders. Using radio frequency, your doctor will shrink the turbinates to open up breathing, which can reduce snoring. While not per se an OSA treatment, Turbinate Coblation can be combined with other treatments, depending on the causes of a person’s sleep disorder(s).
The soft palate can also be helped with radio frequency in a procedure called Palate Coblation. The radio frequency is used to create channels in the soft palate, which will then form scar tissue and harden the palate to reduce and prevent snoring.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) helps shrink and tighten parts of the tongue to create more breathing space. This minimally invasive, in-office procedure is primarily used to help treat sleep apnea, and works by reducing the size of the tongue base. Each treatment takes less than fifteen minutes, Five to eight treatments are generally administered for maximum effectiveness.
The tonsils are also often a contributor to both snoring and sleep apnea. The Laser Tonsil Ablation procedure reduces the size of the tonsils without surgery. Laser tonsillectomy is indicated for the treatment of chronically infected tonsils, “tonsil stones” (tonsiloliths) and enlarged tonsils, common causes of snoring and sleep apnea.
If you’re a chronic snorer, there’s a good chance you could be an OSA sufferer as well, so you need to see a sleep professional immediately to get an evaluation. Generally, a home sleep study — or perhaps a clinic-based sleep study — will be employed to pinpoint the causes (and effects) of your sleep disorder. From there, your doctor may choose from the above procedure to put you back on the proper path to restful, rejuvenating sleep.