Common Reasons to have Sleep Apnea Surgery
Your ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist may recommend a range of surgeries to treat sleep apnea, from nasal surgery to soft palate implants. However, you may be wondering if surgery is necessary in the first place. Beyond the most common reason, that non-surgical treatments simply aren’t working as effectively as hoped, here are real reasons to consider it.
The cause of your sleep apnea might be relatively easy to address
In some cases, the cause of sleep apnea is a very easy-to-diagnose and relatively easy-to-treat physical issue. Physical impediments to your airflow cause the lack of oxygen that causes sleep apnea. One such cause is enlarged tonsils, which can be quickly treated with tonsillectomy. Another such cause may be a deviated septum, where the bridge of bone and cartilage and bone between the nostrils is out of position. In this case, septum surgery can help correct it, improving your breathing through your nose.
You are unable to use a CPAP machine
Therapy using a CPAP machine prevents your airways from collapsing by ensuring your mouth and legs get continuous air pressure. It involves a machine that includes a mask worn over the mouth and nose. However, it’s not effective for everyone. Some may not be able to sleep comfortably while wearing it, while the machine may simply be too expensive for others. Others may experience long-term side effects such as a dry nose, runny nose, sore throat, congestions and facial irritation and pain. If these problems get in the way, surgery may be a more effective option.
Improving everyone’s sleeping health
The quantity and quality of sleep you get as a result of sleep apnea is greatly diminished. Because you don’t get enough oxygen during the night, you may be prone to frequently waking and feel exhausted during the day. Drowsy driving and sleep apnea are also closely linked, which can put you at more risk on the road. What’s more, your partner may have trouble sleeping as well, as a result of snoring caused by sleep apnea. Sleep plays an important role in emotional and mental health, weight maintenance, hormone regulation and much more. Treating sleep apnea to improve your night’s sleep can result in a much greater quality of life.
Preventing the long-term effects of sleep apnea
In the short term, sleep apnea can worsen your sleep quality, causing you to feel tired and perhaps making you less safe on the road. The long-term effects only get worse, unfortunately. Those with long-term sleep apnea are much more at risk of developing chronic health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, irregular heart rhythms and even serious complications like heart failure and stroke. While these are often caused by a combination of factors, sleep apnea is a contributor and should be treated with the appropriate care.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can drastically affect your health the longer that it goes untreated. Though it is your choice, in the end, it’s wise to seek the advice of your ear, nose and throat specialist to learn whether it really is the most effective choice for you.