Sleep Apnea Treatment Fort Myers, FL

Difficulty Breathing

Over 40 million Americans suffer from habitual snoring. Often, this can be caused by an anatomic variation in the upper airway. It may be a symptom of sleep apnea, a condition that can cause daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and loss of memory, personality changes and significant systemic pathology. Sleep apnea can be a potentially life-threatening disorder.

One of the most common sleep disorders is snoring. Snoring is a treatable condition that can be managed easily using procedures that shrink the uvula.

Snoring, however, can also mask more serious conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea. This is a progressive and serious condition that has important health implications. It may cause day-drowsiness but, even more important, it may be a factor in cardiovascular problems.

What is Sleep Apnea?

According to experts, sleep apnea is an under-diagnosed condition, and more men than women suffer. If your sleeping partner says you snore or stop breathing while asleep, or if you experience daytime sleepiness, contact us for a consultation.

When a sleeping person stops breathing for 10 or more seconds, they have “apnea.” OSAS, or obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, is one type of sleep apnea. Lack of adequate breath during sleep reduces airflow, causing the brain to tell the body to wake up and breathe. In some cases, sleep apnea patients only move into a lighter stage of sleep, while other times, patients wake completely.

What’s the Problem?
Many factors may contribute to airway blockage, from the size of passages and oral or airway structures, to swelling of passageways or position of the tongue. Disrupted deep sleep can affect mood, health, and cause daytime sleepiness. The added stress and fatigue can cause lack of concentration, loss of memory, and accidents in the workplace or while driving. Other health risks include high blood pressure and heart problems, and even a risk of premature death. The sleep apnea patient’s snores can disturb a sleeping partner’s rest, too.

A sleep study must be obtained to establish the diagnosis of apnea or another sleeping disorder. We strongly encourage our patients to obtain this sleep study, if not already done. The Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon can offer different procedures for different levels of disease. If you already underwent a sleep study, feel free to bring along the results so we can discuss the different options for treatment.

Dr. Alcalde works closely with local sleep labs and several pulmonologists to assist in comprehensive patient care.

Non-Surgical Sleep Apnea Therapies
A few tests can determine whether you suffer from OSAS, and non-surgical therapies may alleviate the problem. A nasal mask (CPAP) can deliver air to keep nasal passages open during sleep.

Surgical Options
A number of treatments are available to effectively and permanently alter the airway. Each area of blockage must be treated in order to get a proper result. Treatments concentrate on either shrinking, repositioning or removing both soft and hard tissue blockage. Tongue base repositioning is done by advancing part of the chin with incisions made inside the mouth.

Jaw Repositioning may be required for patients with sleep apnea caused by recessive upper and/or lower jaws. Advancing the jaw structure permanently opens the airway, effectively curing the problem.

Sequencing treatment / The team approach

We work closely with your medical doctor to provide the proper evaluation and treatment options. Not all patients require, surgery to treat their problem, while others may require a combination of medical and surgical management. Depending on the severity of the problem and sites of airway blockage, more than one surgical treatment may be necessary. Remember, the goals of surgery are to minimize the life-threatening effects of sleep apnea while reducing its symptoms.