Sleep Apnea in Adults


Obstructive sleep apnea is a severe diagnosis that often goes unrecognized. During sleep the soft tissues in your throat become relaxed and contribute to snoring. In severe situations you can actually choke at night dropping your oxygen levels to dangerous lows. This creates injury to the brain, heart and kidneys. It also does not allow your body to detoxify at night while you rest. So over time it increases your risk of cancer, depression , stroke, heart attack, the list goes on and on.  Patients on certain medications, or who consume alcohol, can be particularly at risk. Oftentimes there are no symptoms. Occasionally patients will complain of morning headaches. Or they will notice that they’re grinding their teeth at night and have jaw strain. Another symptom may be fatigue during the day, or the inability to concentrate during tasks. Agitation or the inability to focus can also be problematic. In early stages patience use caffeine or energy drinks at an increased rate. Some patients take naps to help them get through the day. In children, instead of feeling tired they may actually be hyperactive and can be inadvertently diagnosed with ADD. It is important to get an accurate diagnosis. Osa is a silent killer. Treatment may be as simple as a breathing machine that would be worn at night. For other patients surgery is required. At the Florida craniofacial Institute we have over 95% success in managing this condition, even the most severe cases.

The doctors of Florida Craniofacial Institute, including Dr. Pat Ricalde, are among the few surgeons in the Tampa area who performs Maxillomandibular Advancement (MMA) for the treatment of sleep apnea in adults. Unlike many types of sleep apnea surgery, MMA creates a 3-dimentional increase in the airway space, which results in about 90% success rates.

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