Obstructive Sleep Apnea: How It Causes Snoring & How Uvulopalatoplasty Can Treat It

Do you always snore at night and disturb the sleep of your spouse because it is so loud? Your problem may stem from obstructive sleep apnea and a physician may be able to correct it with a surgical procedure called uvulopalatoplasty. In this article, learn how obstructive sleep apnea causes you to snore and how uvulopalatoplasty can get rid of the problem.

How Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Cause Someone to Snore?

Obstructive sleep apnea is generally caused from the back of your throat becoming narrow when you are in a deep sleep. The narrowing can occur within the palate, tonsils and uvula. The reason the condition is so obstructive is because the palate, tonsils and uvula become relaxed (which is what causes loud snoring), and can interfere with the amount of oxygen you are taking in while asleep.

An insufficient amount of oxygen can cause problems for your brain and heart. The reason oxygen levels are interrupted with sleep apnea is because the condition causes you to stop breathing for small periods of time as you are sleeping. The abrupt pauses in your breathing pattern can also interfere with how much rest you receive each night, which can leave you feeling tired when you wake up.

What Can Be Done to Treat Snoring Caused by Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

A physician can reduce your snoring problem from sleep apnea by getting rid of some of the tissues at the back of your throat. The procedure is called uvulopalatoplasty and may involve the removal of your tonsils and the uvula. The best thing about undergoing the uvulopalatoplasty procedure is that it is done by way of laser surgery, which can make it easier for you to go through with. Local anesthesia will be used in the area of your throat being worked on and you will be awake during the procedure.

The laser will trim any excessive tissues that you may have or get rid of them completely. Some of the risks involved can include temporary bleeding, speech problems and an infection. You will be prescribed pain medicine and antibiotics when the procedure is complete.

Snoring can be embarrassing because you never know how loud you are while unconscious. Make sure you can breathe easy at night and not worry suffering from the problems associated with obstructive sleep apnea. Contact a physician to see if uvulopalatoplasty is the right kind of treatment for you.