Sleep apnea is a leading cause of excessive daytime tiredness. There are several types of sleep apnea, the most common type being Obstructive Sleep Apnea, where an airway blockage exists and causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses. The breathing interruptions prevent a sound and restful sleep, usually unknowing to the person affected. Sleep apnea most commonly occurs in people who are overweight, but can affect just about anyone.
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that requires long-term treatment and management. Untreated, it can increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity and diabetes. It can also increase the risk of heart failure, induce arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) and increase the risk of having work-related or driving accidents.
The treatment you receive for your sleep apnea may depend on what type of sleep apnea you have. Besides Obstructive Sleep Apnea, there are two less-common types of sleep apnea, they are:
Central Sleep Apnea: Involves the central nervous system and occurs when the brain fails to signal the muscles that help you breath.
Complex Sleep Apnea: This type of sleep apnea is a combination of obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Traditional treatment methods may help reduce some of the effects due to obstructive sleep apnea, such as tiredness, snoring and breathing arrests, but they cannot eliminate or cure chronic sleep apnea thus, patients endure short-term treatment applied to a long-term condition.
The causes for sleep apnea can be for various reasons. They could be unknown, a natural physical alignment, weight issues, or from a past personal injury. A common treatment method for sleep apnea is CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) machines. To say these machines are an inconvenient is an understatement. Although the machines do help increase blood oxygen levels, help alleviate breathing interruptions and next day sleepiness, they are often uncomfortable and cumbersome, and are effective only when the machine is used.
Depending on the severity of a constructive sleep apnea condition, surgery can be the solution to alleviating chronic sleep apnea, and be an alternative option if a CPAP machine therapy is not bringing relief, can’t be tolerated any longer, or self-help efforts such as weight loss or exercise are ineffective.
Dental practices specializing in oral and maxillofacial surgery usually have surgical staff well trained in every aspect of sleep apnea surgery services. Surgery requirements usually entail a thorough history of the patient’s sleep apnea condition, the treatment methods used, and a sleep apnea diagnosis from a sleep clinic. Surgery may be the most beneficial option in bringing ultimate relief to a long-suffering sleep apnea patient.
The cost and payment for sleep apnea surgery will be determined by the oral surgeon and the patient’s insurance plan or a patient’s alternative payment option. If a sleep apnea condition deems to be the result of a personal injury accident, legal remedies could be available in seeking compensation for medical treatment. Inquiry with an attorney specializing in personal injury law will provide insight to any applicable or available legal resources.
Zane Schwarzlose is a writer at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin web design company. Zane is glad he doesn’t have sleep apnea.