Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is a medical condition where breathing is interrupted during sleep due to a blockage in the airway passages. When breathing is interrupted, this can limit the oxygen supply to the brain and have severe side effects. Complications of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea include headaches, depression and high blood pressure, as well as the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Obstructions in the nasal passages that lead to the development of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea are often caused by allergies, sinus issues or a deviated septum. Additionally, Obstructive Sleep Apnoea can be triggered by abnormalities in the jaw bone, tongue and tonsils. Diabetes, obesity and genetics can also contribute to the condition.

Central Sleep Apnoea and Complex Sleep Apnoea Syndrome are rare versions of sleep apnoea that involve brain function. When Central Sleep Apnoea occurs, the brain cannot send signals to the muscles for breathing to occur. Complex Sleep Apnoea involves both brain function and obstructions of the nasal passages.

 

Symptoms

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is characterised by frequent breathing interruptions during sleep, and this can lead to irregular sleeping patterns and feelings of anxiety.

Symptoms also include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Insomnia
  • Daytime tiredness
  • Irritability
  • Headaches
  • Loud snoring
  • Fatigue

Surgical Treatment

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea can be treated in various ways depending on the condition’s severity and the underlying cause. When the condition is related to abnormalities of the neck or mouth, specialist oral surgery is beneficial.

Surgical treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnoea is performed by a Specialist Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeon such as Dr Naidoo. Surgery is usually performed in serious cases where Obstructive Sleep Apnoea does not improve with medical treatments and therapy. The consequences of not treating this condition may be dire, resulting in cardiac and respiratory compromise.

When the jaw bone is too small, the tongue too large or the septum has deviated, Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery can effectively treat the issue. Surgery is also applicable in cases where the tonsils cause an obstruction or tissue in the sinus pathways are inflamed. During surgery, Dr Naidoo will work to remove soft tissue or reposition the jaw to eliminate Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. In severe cases, Dr Naidoo may also perform Tracheostomy by making an incision in the neck to assist with breathing.

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