How to Treat Sleep Apnea

A good night’s sleep might sound out of reach for people with sleep apnea. Fortunately, this sleep disorder has several treatment options. Dr. Sonneveld will help you find the best treatment to manage your sleep apnea and rest easy.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop and start repeatedly during sleep. This happens when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open. 

When you have sleep apnea, the obstruction in your airway causes a drop in oxygen levels, which triggers a survival response that briefly wakes you up and restores normal breathing. While this reflex is crucial for your survival, it disrupts your sleep cycle, making it difficult to achieve restful sleep. 

Sleep apnea is more prevalent in individuals with obesity, asthma, and congestive heart failure. Although sleep apnea can affect people of all ages, it is more common in older individuals, potentially due to changes in airway anatomy, decreased muscle tone, or age-related disorders.

*Individual results may vary

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Dr. Sonneveld can help assess whether you have sleep apnea and what is causing it. There are several treatment options for sleep apnea.

Non-Medical Treatments for Sleep Apnea

You can make lifestyle changes to manage and treat mild sleep apnea. These changes include maintaining a healthy weight, getting regular physical activity, establishing healthy sleep habits, limiting alcohol consumption, and quitting smoking. Your healthcare provider may also suggest sleeping on your side rather than your back to help keep your airway open during sleep.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)

The first and primary treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. During CPAP therapy, you’ll wear a mask attached to the machine at night. This device pushes pressurized air down your windpipe to keep it open.

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Surgery to Treat Sleep Apnea

Lifestyle changes usually aren’t enough for moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea, and many patients can’t use a CPAP machine long-term. In this case, surgery may be the best option.

Dr. Sonneveld performs multiple surgeries for sleep apnea, including UPPP and LAUPP. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) involves making an incision in the back of the soft palate and throat to remove excess soft tissue, which is then closed with sutures or staples. Dr. Sonneveld also performs a similar procedure, laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUPP), using a laser. Sometimes, he may use a radio-frequency probe to tighten the soft palate. 

Dr. Sonneveld usually does these procedures in the office under light IV sedation. He may also perform other adjunctive procedures as part of a phased approach. 

Major reconstructive jaw surgery may be necessary if all these interventions are unsuccessful in treating sleep apnea. Corrective jaw surgery involves repositioning the upper and lower jaw to eliminate the choke points obstructing the airways.

Dr. Sonneveld and his staff provide excellent care and service. If you have any apprehension at all, this is the practice to come to. They are extremely patient, loving and kind, and explain everything to you if they have to. I love them.
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Take the Next Step

If you have further questions about sleep apnea, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at Faces Fort Worth. Call us at (817) 927-1818 or fill out our online contact form. We look forward to taking care of you.

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