A sleep disorder that impedes a patient from receiving proper rest, sleep apnea causes fatigue and diminishes cognitive function. Even mild cases of sleep apnea contribute to sleep deprivation and a reduced quality of life. Furthermore, research has linked this sleep disorder with health conditions such as stroke, heart attack, and depression. Our oral surgeon explains.
When a patient ceases breathing during short periods of apnea through the night, proper cardiac rhythm is disrupted. During sleep, the heartbeat slows to help rejuvenate the heart’s tissues. Sleep apnea followed by wakefulness prevents a patient from achieving a slow, steady heartbeat throughout the night. Research suggests that this effect on cardiac rhythm strains the heart over time and can contribute to cardiovascular conditions. The cycle of apnea and resumed breathing hundreds of times throughout the night also affects the body’s circulatory system and may contribute to stroke as well.
Untreated sleep apnea also influences psychological mood disorders especially clinical depression. Fatigue and sleep deprivation directly affects a patient’s mood. Furthermore, sleep deprivation impairs cognitive and motor function. Many patients—even those with mild sleep apnea—experience memory loss.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Patients with mild sleep apnea have a few treatments options available. The best way to determine your course of treatment is to schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon. At your consultation, our team will determine the underlying cause of your sleep apnea symptoms and recommend a treatment plan based on your needs. Mild sleep apnea treatment may include same-day, in-office procedures such as Laser Assisted Uvuloplataplasty (LAUP) or the Pillar Procedure. Both of these procedures allow a patient to return to work after their surgery. The LAUP method involves trimming the soft palate with a laser to reduce the incidence of airway blockage during sleep while the Pillar procedure addresses soft tissues obstructing airways by stiffening the soft palate with very small woven inserts.
To learn more about mild sleep apnea treatment options, contact our office to reserve an appointment with our experienced oral surgeon.