While snoring can be an irritating and troublesome problem for family members, for the snoring ‘victim,’ it can be a sign of sleep apnea, something far more problematic. If you’re suffering from a condition known as ‘Obstructive Sleep Apnea’ (OSA), your snoring may actually be a symptom of a condition that is deadly. That’s because without knowing it, you’re actually limiting your breathing while you’re asleep, and unless something is done to alleviate the cause of the problem, you could actually stop breathing forever. Fortunately, with the help of professional surgeons, sleep apnea can be alleviated, which could do more than stop snoring. It could save your life.
Sleep Apnea: What Is It?
Because of blockages or other conditions, sleep apnea means you essentially stop breathing for short periods of time while you sleep. Quite often, OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is characterized by loud snoring interrupted by short periods of no breathing at all. While these short periods usually last for no more than 10 seconds, these periods not only disrupt sleep but also can cause oxygen depletion in the body, which can have harmful effects on the person who suffers from sleep apnea. Unless diagnosed and treated properly, these effects can accumulate and become deadly.
The construction of the inside of the nose is made up of the nasal septum and turbinates. The nasal cavity is divided into two sections by the septum, which is made of cartilage and bone. The septum, covered by a thin membrane called the mucosa, should ideally separate the nasal cavity into two equally-sized spaces by running down the center of the nose. Also, inside the nose are found turbinates, which warm and moisturize the air. The turbinates are close to the septum, but there should be a space between the septum and the turbinates to allow airflow.
Sleep Apnea Symptoms: What Are They?
Common symptoms range from continual loud snoring to periods where the person seems to struggle to breathe while sleeping. The ‘victim’ may also wake up several times during the night trying to deal with the shortness of breath. However, sore throat symptoms, dry mouth, and fatigue are also symptomatic of sleep apnea since the sufferer is trying to find ways to breathe while asleep. Due to these effects, a person will continually feel tired or sleepy during the day since they’re unable to fall into a deep, restful sleep, which can lead to falling asleep in any static situation such as watching TV or even visiting with friends.
The quality of life is hurt when someone has difficulty breathing due to a deviated septum. It is often necessary to breathe through the mouth, creating a very uncomfortable dry mouth condition. Obstructed airflow also makes it difficult to sleep well, leading to fatigue. Other health issues associated with the deviated septum include chronic sinusitis, headaches, and frequent nasal bleeding.
Sleep Apnea Treatments: What Works?
While many sleep apnea sufferers use CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines or oxygen machines to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea, an expert plastic surgeon can use surgical techniques such as balloon sinuplasty as a better alternative. Sleep apnea may have a variety of causes, but treating the underlying condition instead of simply treating the symptoms is a far more effective way of dealing with the issue. Some patients may require endoscopic sinus surgery instead of rhinoplasty, but the end result is a patient who can sleep comfortably and correctly.
Some people have a nasal obstruction that causes breathing difficulties. In fact, this is a common problem associated with the nasal septum and turbinates, elements of the nasal interior. The septoplasty procedure can usually correct the breathing issues, giving patients much-needed relief from breathing problems.
The septoplasty can correct two of the most common issues associated with the septum and turbinates. A deviated septum is a septum that is not straight. The condition can occur due to genetics, meaning people are born with a deviated septum or injury to the nose in which the septum does not heal straight. The nasal passage is narrowed, making it hard to breathe normally. Turbinates cause problems when they are enlarged, blocking the space where the air is supposed to flow. They can also be misplaced in the nose when the interior nose construction is flawed.
Finding a Professional ENT Surgeon for Septoplasty
Septoplasty is a common procedure that has a high rate of success, so there is no reason to continue suffering from problems like a deviated septum and enlarged turbinates. The septoplasty procedures can relieve the nasal blockage by straightening the septum through the reshaping of the bone and cartilage, reducing the size of the turbinates, or a combination of both procedures. The surgery can be combined with other procedures like the removal of a nasal tumor or sinus surgery.
It is important to utilize the services of an experienced plastic surgeon. Examine their credentials and years of experience performing this kind of surgery to ensure you will get state-of-the-art medical services. Septoplasty surgery has helped many people finally be able to breathe freely.
If you or a loved one shows signs of sleep apnea, going to an ENT surgeon could be the best way to alleviate not just the snoring and the daytime fatigue but the way to improve the overall quality of life. Seek the assistance of a board-certified cosmetic surgeon or plastic surgeon who has the skillset to correct and alleviate the conditions of sleep apnea that can be not just disruptions to life but an end to life itself. Contact an expert surgeon if sleep apnea has an effect on your life. It could be the best call you ever make.