or call us at: (832) 699-9265
Not being able to sleep properly isn’t something to be taken lightly. Despite the health risks and potential ramifications down the road, people don’t take action as soon as they should. There’s even a new German word for these kinds of people: Schlafchauvi; one who takes pride in little sleep.
If you’ve got obstructive sleep apnea then odds are you’re well past feeling proud of your intermittent snoozing. Waking up in a panic because you can’t breathe has serious effects on your body and some people try everything to have uninterrupted sleep.
Today we’re going to talk about another word that sounds just as crazy but it’s not new or German: Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. This procedure is a great way you can reclaim your right to doze off.
Before we talk about the treatment, we need to understand the problem. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of people across the country.
Sleep is interrupted because of how muscles in the throat loosen when you’re not awake. The resulting pinched airflow vibrates off your soft palate, vibrating and generating snoring. As this airway becomes restricted your brain panics forcing you awake and contracting those relaxed throat muscles.
There are nasal sprays and devices that fit into your mouth that actually correct the jaw position while you sleep. A very common treatment is using a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, or CPAP machine. This device uses a mask to get pressurized air inside you as you sleep, keeping your airways open.
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a confusing word at first glance but if you look closely you’ll see some very interesting key words buried in there. Among them: Uvula, Palate and Plasty. They give away what we can expect from a treatment.
Just like most problems involving your airway, the solution involves getting it open. UPPP accomplishes this by reducing the uvula (that lovely bit of flesh hanging at the back of your throat) and parts of your soft palate. The surgery gets rid of as much excess tissue as it can letting you breathe easier at night.
The recovery period is only about 3 weeks and for people that don’t use a CPAP machine or want to forego opening up their windpipe with a tracheostomy, it’s the ideal fix.
Opting for UPPP will go a long way to resolving your snoring with anywhere between half and three quarters of patients who tried it reporting positive results. There are many risks associated with not being able to breathe when you sleep including hypertension, depression and an increased risk of stroke.
Although Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty sounds terrifying, it’s actually one of the less intense surgeries you can do to get you sleeping the way you used to. Hopefully, the looming threat of little to no sleep being faced every night should be enough to get you to consider talking to a professional. That is unless you want to be all Schlafchauvi.