With an estimated 50 to 70 million American adults afflicted annually, and over 100 million globally, there is little doubt that Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is one of the most prevalent sleep disorders in the world. For many of those suffering symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, a common question is “will it ever go away by itself, or is it imperative that I seek out the talents of a specialist?” At South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center, we will answer that question once and for all and provide some invaluable advice on how best to ensure a healthy sleep cycle.
What Is It?
A brief summary of OSA will help contextualize the answer to the above question.
Essentially, during sleep, OSA occurs when the patient’s tongue falls back against his or her soft palate, and the soft palate and uvula fall back against the back of the throat, effectively closing the airway. When the sleeper expands the chest to inhale, no air enters the lungs.
Signs and symptoms of OSA include snoring, abrupt awakenings, night sweating, dry mouth and sore throat, debilitating daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, depression, and a general sense of malaise and malady. Over time the increased exhaustion can lead to more serious complications, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases.
There are a variety of potential causes and risk factors associated with OSA, such as family history, obesity, smoking, diabetes, and more.
Will It Go Away?
Unfortunately, OSA rarely, if ever, vanishes without significant lifestyle changes or specialized treatment. In mild cases, the following lifestyle changes may be enough to keep symptoms at bay:
- Losing weight if you are obese
- Exercising regularly
- Drinking alcohol moderately, staying away from it near bedtime, or cutting it out entirely
- Quitting smoking
- Not sleeping on your back
- Avoiding taking sedative medications such as anti-anxiety drugs or sleeping pills
In more involved cases of OSA, however, certain procedures may be necessary to provide relief. Thankfully, at South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center, Dr. Mandel and his team of expert physicians specialize in a variety of proprietary, state-of-the-art OSA treatment options that are quick and easy. These include:
Minimally Invasive Palatial Stiffening
Using a diode laser, Dr. Mandel will make a small abrasion, as well as several passes through your soft palate. The palate stiffens as it heals, preventing the palate from collapsing during sleep, ultimately eliminating the area of obstruction. This quick, minimally invasive procedure is performed under IV sedation in about 3 minutes.
South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center offer a range of minimally invasive nasal procedures. Examples include balloon sinuplasty, septoplasty, turbinate reduction, nasal polyp removal, and more. A combination of these procedures takes roughly 15-20 minutes and can help ensure a lifetime of better breathing and healthier sleeping.
Are you looking for relief from your struggle with Obstructive Sleep Apnea? South Florida Sinus and Allergy Center has a treatment tailor-made just for you. Call us to make an appointment at 954-983-1211, or request an appointment online today.