OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
UNDERSTANDING OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA, SNORING, SYMPTOMS & TREATMENTS
WHAT IS OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA (OSA)?
Apnea means stoppage or cessation of breathing that occurs during sleep. Typically cessation of breathing for two consecutive breaths or 10 seconds is considered significant from sleep perspective.
In children more than one episode of sleep apnea per hour and in adults more than 5 episodes of obstructive sleep apnea per hour are considered significant.
WHAT ARE SYMPTOMS OF OSA?
Typically the first sign of OSA is snoring. If you or your partner notices that you stop breathing during sleep or appear to be gasping or choking during sleep and wake up with a gasp, then most likely you have OSA. There may be arousals from sleep as well and you will not feel well rested and perhaps have day time sleepiness or early morning headaches. Children with OSA may suffer from ADHD.
FAQ ABOUT OSA
HOW MANY TYPES OF SLEEP APNEA ARE THERE?
HOW DOES OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA OCCUR?
I HEAR DR. KHETARPAL HAS ANOTHER NAME FOR OSA...
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH RISKS OF OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA?
A: Many scientific studies have shown that moderate to severe sleep apnea significantly increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and heart disease, strokes, accidents, memory impairment, loss of concentration due to lack of sleep, increased risk of work related accidents especially when using machinery. Some driving accidents are known to be caused by drivers that fall asleep at he wheel when driving due to untreated OSA. Also OSA increases the risks of diabetes and impotence. Some studies indicate that the relative risk of heart problems and stroke is increased 5-7 times in individuals with moderate to severe sleep apnea. Therefore the condition is a significant health hazard with long term consequences to the individual, family and society.
HOW DOES A CPAP WORK?
A: CPAP is a device that provides continuous positive pressure to your nose and throat during sleep. You will be fitted with a face or a nasal mask during your sleep study and provided with a device that generates positive pressure at a fixed pressure or an auto-PAP that generates variable pressure depending on the degree of obstruction. This must be used at least 6 hours every night or during sleep and at least 5 days during the week to be effective. Because the tissues in the back of the throat collapse to cause blockage or apnea, CPAP or auto-PAP open that air passage with positive pressure at the time of inspiration or breathing air in. This opens up the air passage and eliminates the apnea.
WHAT IF I DO NOT WANT A CPAP OR CANNOT TOLERATE IT?
A: In this case, depending on severity of your OSA, surgery or oral appliance may be the other options. One such surgery is radiofrequency ablation or RFA of the tongue base that can be performed in the office under local anesthesia and IV sedation or IV anesthesia. Ask Dr Khetarpal about RFA ablation. One or more RFA treatments may be necessary to improve your OSA.
CAN SURGERY OR RFA HELP ME GET RID OF THE CPAP?
A: Sleep apnea surgery should improve your OSA but there is no guarantee of cure. In some individuals, it is possible that the improvement is sufficient to eliminate a need for CPAP.
WHY DR. KHETERPAL IS THE RIGHT DOCTOR FOR YOU.
A: Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a condition that results from blockage of the upper air passage and is essentially the domain of ENT specialists. Dr Khetarpal is one of few surgeons in Texas performing RFA in his office. He belongs to a small group of ENT doctors or Otolaryngologists that is also Board Certified in Sleep Medicine besides being Board Certified in Otolaryngology-Head Neck and Facial Plastic Surgery. He has experience with all types of surgical procedures with Obstructive Sleep Apnea including tongue-jaw surgery.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR OBSTRUCTIVE SLEEP APNEA
In general, there are 5 treatment approaches to Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA. At Texas Sinus, Allergy, Snoring & Sleep Institute, we educate our patients and develop a personalized treatment plan to help our patients breathe, smell, and taste life again.