One of the most common symptoms encountered in the medical clinic is daytime fatigue or sleepiness.  There are numerous reasons that may account for these symptoms.  One reason that is becoming more prevalent is obstructive sleep apnea with or without snoring.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition marked by abnormal breathing during sleep. People with this condition have multiple extended pauses in breathing when they sleep. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s supply of oxygen, leading to potentially serious health consequences.  It is not atypical for sleep apnea to be accompanied by snoring.

Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders affecting 2-9% of adults in the United States. It can also affect children and people of both sexes, although it is more common in men.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness, morning headaches, irritability, attention/focus difficulties, morning sore throat or dry mouth, frequent awakenings to urinate, and disrupted labored breathing while sleeping. Chronic snoring is the most common symptom, but that does not mean that everyone who snores has sleep apnea.

Causes include anatomical characteristics or variations of the oral pharynx and mandible, obesity, medications, smoking, chronic nasal congestion, hormone abnormalities, and family history.

The diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea often requires either a home or in hospital sleep study.

Optimal treatment for obstructive sleep apnea and snoring depends on severity.  Reversible causes always need to be addressed first such as weight reduction.  Treatment modalities include positional sleep devices, oral appliances, CPAP, surgery, and NightLase.  Milder cases can often be addressed without surgery or CPAP treatment.  Moderate or severe cases are often best addressed with CPAP alone or in combination with other treatment modalities.

NightLase Treatment is a patented, fast, non-invasive, patient-friendly laser treatment for increasing the quality of the patient’s sleep.  NightLase reduces the effects of obstructive sleep apnea and decreases the amplitude of snoring by means of a gentle, laser-induced tightening effect caused by the contraction of collagen in the oral mucosa tissue.  Research has shown that NightLase reduces and attenuates snoring and provides an effective, non-invasive way to lessen the effects of obstructive sleep apnea.  NightLase treatment involves 3 sessions over a 6–8-week period.  Effects usually last up to a year at which point maintenance treatments are recommended.

Call our office today for a consultation and learn how NightLase may help improve the quality of your sleep.

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