Those who suffer with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) have disrupted sleep and low blood oxygen levels and caused by the tongue being sucked against the back of the throat, blocking the upper airway and stopping airflow. When the lack of oxygen to the brain becomes low enough, the person partially wakes, clears the throat and the air flow starts again. This can lead to serious cardiovascular problems and daytime sleepiness, depression and a loss of concentration.
The first step in treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a recognition of the symptoms and seeking consultation. Through skull X-Rays, the doctors can determine the level of obstruction. A sleep study may also be recommended to monitor an individual overnight.
There are various treatment options available for those with OSA. One treatment is using a nasal CPAP machine that delivers pressurized oxygen through a nasal mask. A surgical option is an uvulo-palato-pharyngo-plasty (UPPP), which is performed in the back of the soft palate and throat. A similar procedure is done with laser assistance, called a laser assisted uvulo-palato-plasty (LAUPP). A radio-frequency probe may also be used to tighten the soft palate. In more extreme cases, bones of the upper and lower jaw may be repositioned to increase the size of the airway.