Thousands of people in Salt Lake City, Draper and across Utah suffer from sleep apnea. We see these people daily in our clinics and work hard to effectively treat sleep apnea.
If you are diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), there are medical and surgical procedures that can help or completely eliminate these events.
Read: What is Sleep Apnea?
The first therapy is usually with Nasal CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), which is essentially a mask which fits over your nose and blows in air to keep the airway tissues open while you sleep. Each night when you go to sleep, you turn on the machine and fit the mask to your nose. It’s that simple.
The machine is small and easily portable for when you travel. Today, there is better technology which makes machines that are quieter and better tolerated. This treatment is 100% effective for those patients who keep the mask on all night long, and patients usually notice a significant improvement in their daytime function after initiating nasal CPAP therapy.
Some people are unable to tolerate nasal CPAP or just don’t want to wear the mask and use the machine every night. There are permanent treatments available. Most of these procedures will involve support or removal of the tissues in the airway that are causing the obstruction while you sleep. Although the exact details of each procedure are beyond the scope of this web site, they typically involve surgical improvement of the nasal airway and/or treatment of enlarged tonsils, soft palate, and uvular enlargement or redundancy, and even procedures aimed towards relieving obstruction at the base of the tongue. Only an examination by a physician can determine the best treatment for you as each patient’s anatomy is different.
In certain patients with obstructive sleep apnea, the Pillar Procedure is performed in the office or at the same time as other airway surgeries. The Pillar Procedure stiffens the soft palate and can prevent its collapse into the airway during sleep. This procedure is not for everyone with OSA and only an examination by one of our doctors can determine if the Pillar Procedure is a treatment option that will help you.
Regardless of which avenue you choose to pursue, realize that obstructive sleep apnea is dangerous to your health and can even be life threatening. There are devices and procedures that can eliminate sleep apnea, so do not hesitate to notify your physician if you think you might suffer from a sleep disorder. Obstructive sleep apnea can be a complex condition. The Ear, Nose and Throat Center is committed to working with our patients in our Salt Lake City, Draper and Park City offices to provide the relief you deserve.
Read: What is Sleep Apnea?
Related links about snoring and sleep apnea