Does the following scenario sound familiar? Your loving spouse elbows you in the middle of the night and not because you have stolen all of the blanket covers. No, you have been woken from what you assumed was sound sleep because of the sound that has been emitting from your head…loud and obnoxious snoring.
If you can relate to this anecdotal story, you are not alone but in the company of close to 100 million other people across the world suffering from sleep apnea. In fact, an American Sleep Apnea Association report claims that sleep apnea affects 1 in 4 men and 1 in 9 women across the United States. In addition, it is theorized that close to 80% of all sleep apnea patients remain undiagnosed, and suffer without full knowledge or understanding of their disease.
Sleep apnea is characterized by an obstruction of the airway, which impacts your breathing during sleep. In 2013 sleep apnea treatments run the gamut from the most conservative to the most invasive. However, how to treat sleep apnea must start with a sleep study to fully understand the extent and severity of your disease. This diagnostic tool will determine the number of respiratory episodes occurring during the course of an hour. Also known as a respiratory disturbance index (RDI), this information along with other factors determines the best course of treatment to resolve sleep apnea for each patient on an individualized basis.
For most people diagnosed with sleep apnea, traditional treatment has been prescribed in the form of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask with accompanying machine. CPAP does work; however, it only alleviates the symptoms and does not provide a sleep apnea cure. The same end-result is true for sleep apnea mouthpieces or oral appliances. There is the additional option of surgery, which is invasive and needs to occur in a hospital. The risks associated with sleep apnea surgery (tissue removal, jaw repositioning, and tracheostomy) include infection, bleeding, blood clots, nerve or tissue damage or allergic reaction.
Nevertheless, there is a new innovative option available to individuals who have received a sleep apnea diagnosis: radiofrequency ablation (RFA). In 2013, this sleep apnea cure is available at Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America (SATCOA). It is a safe, effective alternative to traditional sleep apnea treatment offered as a minimally invasive procedure occurring in a physician’s office versus surgery in a hospital setting.
RFA works by directing small amounts of temperature-controlled and targeted energy to the base of the tongue in the back of the throat. Following the procedure, the treated area heals; tissue is tightened and thus reduced in size. This tightening and reduction directly prevents the tongue from blocking the airway while one sleeps, reducing and virtually eliminating sleep apnea.
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea or been diagnosed and would like an individualized treatment plan, contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.