Snoring is a serious medical condition that requires treatment to prevent future health problems for you and others. For those with sleep apnea or just heavy snoring, there are treatment options available:
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) – surgery that treats obstructive sleep apnea by tightening the tissue in the throat and palate to expand the passageways.
- Thermal Ablation Palatoplasty (TAP) – TAP is a variety of procedures used to treat snoring and sleep apnea. Some procedures include bipolar cautery, laser and radiofrequency. Laser Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty (LAUP) removes the obstruction in the airway with a laser while radiofrequency ablation emits energy to the area to shrink excess tissue in the area.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) – involves the patient wearing a pressurized mask over their nose while they sleep. The mask pumps air through the airway to keep is open.
- Septoplasty and Turbinate Surgery – reduces resistance to air flow through the nose.
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that involves repeated breathing interruptions during sleep that may occur hundred of times each night as a result of structural abnormalities or brain malfunctions. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common form, occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat closes, blocking (obstructing) the person’s airway. The airway remains open in central sleep apnea, but the brain does not send signals to the muscles involved in breathing. Mixed sleep apnea combines aspects of the obstructive and central types. A common warning sign of sleep apnea is snoring (especially snoring interspersed with gasps or lack of breathing) although it is not always as a result of sleep apnea.
There are a variety of treatments available for sleep apnea, including oral appliance therapy, mandibular repositioning, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, nasal surgery and CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure).