Sleep On It- Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea

OSAMorning

A bad night’s sleep can ruin your day, but when every night is restless it can affect your overall health and wellbeing.

Are you waking up fatigued and exhausted?

Lack of enthusiasm for life and feeling depressed? Has your family or friends told you that you snore or that it sounds as if you have stopped breathing temporarily while sleeping? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may have a disorder called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
Approximately 40% of patients over the age of 40 snore. Of those who snore, at least 17% of men and 15% of women have Obstructive Sleep Apnea.

What is OSA?

People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels. When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the tongue and palate are sucked against the back of the throat and the sides of the throat suck inward. This blocks the airway and air flow stops. When the oxygen level in the brain becomes low enough, the sleeper partially awakens and the obstruction in the throat clears to begin the flow of air again—usually followed with a loud gasp for air.

Repeated cycles of decreased oxygenation lead to very serious cardiovascular problems. The person with OSA cannot get adequate Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.  As a result, these individuals suffer from excessive daytime sleepiness, depression, and loss of concentration.

Studies show that OSA is associated with higher risks for high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, stroke, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, impotence, behavior and cognitive problems, and even early death–in fact, people with OSA will be 10 times more likely to die in a car accident than those without sleep apnea. Obstructive Sleep Apnea can be a potentially life-threatening disorder, however, it is reversible with the appropriate treatment.

Treatment Options

Although there are many treatment options for individuals who suffer from OSA, several options are ineffective by only temporarily treating symptoms and can often times complicate breathing issues even further for patients. Many patients with moderate to severe OSA are non-compliant with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)—a common treatment therapy that aids patients with breathing during the night—because of the irritation associated with wearing a breathing mask during sleep.

With a 96% to 100% success rate, an Orthognathic (Jaw Surgery) procedure called Maxillomandibular Advancement Surgery (MMA) is the most successful OSA treatment option and is a permanent solution for the problem. MMA is a procedure performed by an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon where the jaw bones are moved forward in order to allow better airflow for the patient.

Due to the nature of OSA and the numerous factors that attribute to the problem, Oral Surgeons recommend Maxillomandibular Advancement Surgery as a treatment option for patients whose everyday lives are affected by OSA because of its effectiveness with eliminating airway resistance.


Dr. Reynolds has performed orthognathic reconstructive surgery for over 13 years and has performed countless successful cases relating to Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you or someone you know suffer from OSA, recommend a consultation with an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.

OSA Patient

 

A patient of Dr. Reynolds’ who successfully underwent jaw advancement surgery.

To learn more about Obstructive Sleep Apnea Surgery and to see if you are a candidate for the surgery, visit our website.

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