Sleep apnea happens when you literally stop breathing while you sleep. In general, it is a part of a spectrum of a disease where the upper airway has too much resistance.
Although sleep apnea is easy to diagnose, uncovering the cause can be tricky. Just as Leo Tolstoy wrote “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”, The physicians of Sleep and Sinus Centers of Georgia believe “Every perfect upper airway is the same; every imperfect upper airway is different in its own way."Take the Sleep Quiz
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Learn more about sleep apnea and your treatment options with Dr. Dillard's Book, "Freedom from CPAP: Sleep Apnea Hurts, the Cure Doesn’t Have To."
Causes and Misconceptions
Sleep apnea is often traced to a nasal problem. Your nose may not be humidifying air well enough, it may have resistance to swelling from previous conditions, hyper allergic responses, polyps, or even acid reflux.
A lot of doctors view sleep apnea as a one diagnosis. If you have it, you need to lose weight. This couldn’t be further than the truth; many healthy young people with long term nasal problems acquire this condition as well.
The VOAT Procedure: CPAP Alternative
The Sleep and Sinus Center of Georgia’s VOAT™ surgery is a new approach to radio frequency ablation of the tongue. However, it is a marked improvement on the procedures of the past. The VOAT™ procedure takes a different approach, where scarring is less visible, the incision is less painful, and patients have an 80% chance of improving. Many patients no longer require a CPAP machine at all. In fact, the in-office VOAT™ procedure is very quick, and requires minimal sedation, and some surgeries only lasting 30 seconds.
In conclusion, while radiofrequency ablation is a highly adaptable technology that has been used anywhere from treating varicose veins to sleep apnea. The VOAT procedure has improved upon the foundation laid by RFA and other procedures to become the best option for potentially curing sleep apnea.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral Appliance Therapy offers patients a non-surgical option for treating their sleep apnea. It functions as a tool to maintain an unobstructed, open airway to facilitate proper breathing during sleep. While there are over-the-counter versions of this tool, a custom-made oral appliance has proven to be more effective at treating sleep apnea.
To begin the process, our on-staff dentist, who is certified in Dental Sleep Medicine (DABDSM), will conduct an examination of your condition. He will also evaluate your specific needs to determine the most appropriate appliance for you. It will be custom-fitted to you and will adapt to your specific needs.
Specialized Treatment From Sleep and Sinus Centers of Georgia
When you are evaluated for sleep apnea, you need a doctor who knows the importance of nasal health and anatomy. They need to look at the way your nose connects to your face, you sinuses, the septum, the palate, and the sinus structures above the larynx.
Our Physicians will look for the site of resistance increase. The nose, tongue base, the opening into the nose, and the nostrils all need to be evaluated by a person who is experienced at looking at these kind of problems. Our cutting-edge VOAT Procedure is a desirable alternative to CPAP, and is a permanent solution to treating sleep apnea. Our own Dr. Dillard was the first to perform this procedure in Georgia, and has been featured in the media for his contributions to the medical field.
Are There Surgical Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can be caused by a variety of different factors. Some of these factors, such as those related to the tongue base or tonsils, can be treated surgically. Learn more here:
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