Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder, which often causes the person to stop breathing for at least 10 seconds during sleep. The disorder is caused by the relaxation of the throat muscles. With relaxation of the throat muscles, the soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses and closes, resulting in blocked airways.
Certain signs and symptoms indicate prevalence of OSA. Symptoms often begin insidiously and may continue for years before the patient is referred for evaluation. Persons who notice these signs and symptoms should consult a physician who specializes in treating the condition. Night time symptoms of this disorder include the following:
- Insomnia or restless sleep, where patients often experience frequent arousals and tossing or turning during night
- Snoring, usually loud, habitual, and bothersome to others
- Gasping and choking sensations that arouse the patient from sleep
The daytime symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are:
- Daytime fatigue/tiredness
- Decreased vigilance
- Excessive daytime sleepiness that usually begins during quiet activities
- Feeling sleepy even during activities that generally require alertness
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Cognition like memory and intellectual impairment (short-term memory, concentration)
- Morning confusion
- Morning headache, dry or sore throat
- Non restorative sleep, which causes the person to wake up as tired as when they went to bed
- Personality and mood changes (depression and anxiety)
- Sexual dysfunction
There are effective options available to treat OSA of which mandibular distraction is considered one of the most effective. Plastic surgeons experienced in reconstructive procedures perform this surgical procedure which involves lengthening the lower jaw and pulling the tongue forward to open the airway.
In order to attain the full benefits of the treatment, it is important to consult an experienced plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties. Surgeons with this certification complete a minimum of five years of surgical training following medical school, including a plastic surgery residency program. So they are trained to perform any type of surgical procedure of the face and body.
Having the treatment at an AAAASF-certified surgical center is also important. They make use of latest technology and surgical tools for correcting jaw distractions. During consultation, the surgeon will closely examine and analyze the X-ray reports and the medical history of the patient. Based on the evaluation, a customized treatment plan will be devised to provide optimal results.