If you snore, first of all you should not rule out that you may suffer from a more serious health condition called sleep apnoea. It is more commonly known by the US spelling – apnea. People with sleep apnea actually stop breathing for brief periods of time (usually 10-20 seconds) whilst asleep.
Sleep apnea often results in feelings of excessive tiredness during the day and the ability to reach deep, restorative sleep stages is impaired. Other warning signs of sleep apnea are often noticed by bed partners and include loud snoring and making snorting or choking sounds at night.
There are three types of sleep apnea, Central Sleep Apnea (CSA), Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), and Mixed Sleep Apnea ( i.e. both Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive Sleep Apnea).
What is Central Sleep Apnea and what causes it?
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain does not send the signal to breathe to the muscles related to our breathing.
This usually occurs in adults with heart disease, cerebrovascular diseases or congenital diseases but also can be caused by some medications and high altitudes. In adults with Central Sleep Apnea, the apneas are usually resolved by treating the underlying heart disease, medication interaction, high altitude, or other primary problem.
If you suffer from CSA you should visit your GP as soon as possible. Our treatments are aimed at reducing your snoring and will not be able to improve your condition in cases where Central Sleep Apnea is the diagnosis.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea and what causes it?
This is the most common category of sleep disordered breathing.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is estimated to affect 4% of men and 2% of women respectively. It is probably even more prevalent as the population is becoming more obese as obesity worsens Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
An Apnea event has four components.
1. First, the airway collapses.
2. Second, an effort is made to take a breath, but is unsuccessful.
3. Third, the oxygen level in the blood drops.
4. And when the amount of oxygen reaching the brain decreases, the brain signals the body to wake up and take a breath. (This is what the bed partner hears as a silence followed by a gasp for air.)
Airflow can become diminished for a variety of reasons:
- If a person has a deviated septum.
- If the palate and uvula (the piece of skin that hangs in the back of your throat) are long or floppy, they can fall backwards and close the area for breathing.
- The back of the tongue can also fall backwards and obstruct breathing especially when laying flat on your back.
- Finally the side walls of the throat can fall together to narrow or close the airway.
Please note that our treatments are aimed at reducing your snoring and freeing your airway and are suitable only in case of obstruction due to a blocked nose or an enlarged uvula.
What are the symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea ?
Common symptoms include loud snoring, restless sleep, and sleepiness during the daytime. Sleep Apnea causes high blood pressure and sufferers have a 30% higher risk of heart attack. Unfortunately it is estimated that only 10% of people with Obstructive Sleep Apnea seek medical attention.
At The Private Clinic, during your consultation, we will perform a medical assessment and will help you to complete an Epworth questionnaire to assess whether or not you may be suffering from sleep apnea and to assess the severity of your condition.
Laser Assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP)
A simple procedure performed under local anaesthetic to target the excess vibration of the soft palate and uvula (the stalactite of flesh at the back of the throat). The patient sits in a chair as if at the dentist whilst the ENT Surgeon uses a laser to remodel the excess vibrating soft tissue at the back of your throat. LAUP is a long established procedure in the UK with over 20,000 procedures performed to date.
Bipolar Radiofrequency Thermotherapy (RFITT)
A radio frequency treatment to tighten the muscle within the soft palate causing less vibration during sleep. The procedure involves numbing the back of the throat with a local anaesthetic and targeting it with a slim pen that emits a high frequency. The heat causes the muscle to tighten – which it continues to do so in the weeks following treatment, with the maximum benefit being achieved after six months.
Unblocking the nose
The nasal cavity can sometimes be obstructed by swelling of the turbinates and septal deviation. At The Private Clinic we use a minimally invasive procedure to reduce enlarged fleshy ridges or ‘turbinates’ at the entrance of the sinuses or to correct a deviated septum (a buckled partition between the two nostrils). Nasal obstruction makes CPAP difficult if not impossible to tolerate. Surgery to open the nasal passages markedly improves tolerance to CPAP.
Sleep Apnea can be a very serious condition. If you are a loud snorer, you may suffer from Sleep Apnea.
*All images, videos and testimonials are based on the personal experiences of our patients and represent individual body shapes and results. Results may vary from person to person. All testimonials are provided voluntarily by our patients and clients and all photos and videos have been consented to and have not been altered in any way.
“I just wanted to say thanks to you all for being such a great team and for making me feel at ease from the start to finish on the day of my procedure. I was really nervous, but you all made me feel much more comfortable with your warm and friendly approach. I would highly recommend you to anyone and can’t wait to see my final results!” *London - May 2015
“So impressed, extremely professional, extremely friendly, lovely set up. Felt so relaxed and at ease, would more than highly recommend The Private Clinic and I’m considering having other procedures in the new year. Thank you!” *Catherine, Leeds - July 2015
“I’m so pleased with the results and it is really life changing for me!” *Nicole Hopkirk, Former Managing Editor, MSN Health
“It’s worked! For the first time in years I have been able to wear a grey t-shirt without having to worry about the wet stains! I will definitely continue to have this treatment. I am delighted with the results and I’m looking forward to my first holiday in a long time where I can buy what ever colour of shirt or t-shirt without trying to hide how much I am sweating! I Can’t believe how quick and easy it was! It’s virtually pain free.”Scot, Glasgow - May 2016
“As far as I am concerned, I can’t praise the clinic highly enough. I am sure I conveyed this to you every time I came. The staff were all very kind and caring and couldn’t do enough for me. As for the treatment, it was wonderful. I look at my legs now with a smile on my face. The result is truly life changing. It was the best money I ever spent. Many, many thanks to all at the clinic for a wonderful job.”Ann, Manchester - September 2016
Are there any other non-surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea?
What are the surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea
We are one of the UK’s leading cosmetic groups, with some of the most experienced doctors and nurses working with us. Since 1983 our ambition has been to perfect the most natural looking results and to help you look and feel your very best.
Our most important consideration is YOU – your safety and your results.
The Private Clinic, you will be treated by a registered, experienced practitioner, using the highest quality of approved products. We only offer tried and tested, fully approved medical products produced by worldwide, renowned manufacturers, such as Allergan and Azzalure, and all of our injectable treatments are carried out by cosmetic doctors or nurse prescribers, who have undergone extensive additional training to qualify in prescribing wrinkle injections.