Treating Sleep Apnea in Birmingham, AL

Sleep apnea affects thousands of people every year; it can begin to impact your quality of life and sleep severely. Thankfully, sleep apnea has several treatments depending on the severity and the team at Buck and Phillips Oral Surgery in Birmingham can help! 

What Is Sleep Apnea?

OSA or obstructive sleep apnea is a disruptive respiratory and sleep condition that can have a devastating impact on a person’s overall quality of life. It has long-term dangers if left untreated.

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

There are several symptoms associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), including:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Unexplained daytime dozing
  • Restless sleep
  • Snoring and gasping
  • Morning headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Changes in mood
  • Irritability and anxiety
  • Night sweats
  • Edema and swollen limbs
  • Poor daytime focus
  • Decreased libido

Some cases of sleep apnea are temporary and can be caused by respiratory illnesses or infections such as nasal congestion or bad cases of tonsillitis. OSA is most commonly diagnosed in people in a relationship as it becomes apparent to partners first.

If you are experiencing symptoms, it is crucial to speak to your partner about tracking them. We strongly recommended you call us to set up an appointment so we can consult you and discuss your treatment. options.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

OSA occurs when the tongue or uvula is sucked tightly against the back of the throat: The upper airway becomes constricted. Oxygen is not able to flow into the lungs. Slowly, as the brain and body lose oxygen, the sleeping patient will wake up and gasp for air.

Several risk factors increase the risk of sleep apnea, depending on the patient’s age. Adult men are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea compared to children.

Risk factors in children include:

  • Down syndrome
  • Maxillofacial abnormalities, abnormalities in the skull
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Obesity
  • Neuromuscular disease

Risk factors in adults include: 

  • Hypertension
  • Obesity and excessive weight
  • Narrowed airways
  • Family history of obstructive sleep apnea
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic nasal congestion

Diagnosing Sleep Apnea

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons like the Buck and Phillips Oral Surgery team, are often the first point of contact for anyone suffering from sleep apnea. Drs. Buck or Phillips will assess your complete medical history and test your maxillofacial regions in conjunction with a skull X-ray.

We might assess your nasopharyngeal area with a tiny camera to discern the level of constriction and the damage to your cardiovascular system. As sleep apnea is a kind of sleep disorder, your oral surgeon might recommend an overnight sleep study. Buck and Phillips’ oral surgeons in Birmingham, AL, have years of experience assisting in diagnosing and successfully treating sleep apnea.

           

           

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

If left untreated, sleep apnea can compound other health conditions and lead to long-lasting issues. Hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes can all be caused by untreated sleep apnea.

Thankfully. there are several treatment options for those with sleep apnea. The team at Buck and Phillips can create the best plan of treatment for you. This may include one or a combination of the following courses of action. 

CPAP Machine

A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is commonly used as a treatment for sleep apnea. The machine ensures that a steady flow of oxygen is pushed through your nose and mouth while sleeping.

With a CPAP, you will be able to breathe normally while you sleep. CPAP machines can be prescribed and fitted by oral maxillofacial surgeons.

UPPP and LAUPP

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP is one of the surgical options for sleep apnea. The procedure removes excess tissue in the throat to help open the airways and ensure a steady flow of air that is not constricted due to tissue. The procedure is offered by Buck and Phillips Oral Surgery in Birmingham, AL.

The procedure is sometimes performed with a laser and is known as a laser-assisted uvula-palatoplasty or LAUPP. The palate and soft tissues within the throat are tightened and adjusted for optimal airflow.

The adenoids and tonsils might also be removed during the procedure, depending on the severity of the airway constriction.

Repositioning Orthognathic Surgery

Dr. Buck and Dr. Phillips can perform a procedure under general anesthesia in the hospital. The procedure is reserved for more complex cases of OSA and will only be considered in situations where you need a more complicated treatment for sleep apnea.

Orthognathic surgery involves repositioning the lower jaw to improve the size of the airway, which will help improve airflow. The procedure will require a short overnight stay in the hospital.

If you or a family member are experiencing any of these symptoms of Sleep Apnea or have any questions on courses of treatment, give our office a call today to set up your consultation. Our team at Buck and Phillips would love to meet with you and get you started on a lifetime of good sleep. We can be reached at 205-933-1331