What are the signs of sleep aponea?
Most Australians with OSA remain undiagnosed. Many men don’t think it’s a problem they need to deal with, or even realise how bad it is. It is often the partners who identify how bad the problem is. Some, but not all, of the signs include:
- Exhaustion, sleepiness, fatigue, irritability, anxiety despite hours of “sleep”
- Gasping, snorting, choking or even seconds of not breathing during sleep
- Inability to concentrate and poor memory
- Dry or sore mouth or throat
Dion tells us that he was diagnosed ten years ago. He was constantly lethargic and tired. “I was sleeping but still tired. I’d wake up tired almost every morning. Not getting enough sleep can’t be underestimated. It affects every area of your life.”
There are other scary statistics that are associated with OSA. It is estimated that work related accidents and road accidents are 4 to 9 times more likely for those with sleep aponea. Some research even suggests that there is a 2.5 increase in mortality rate among those with the issue (Ref: Snore Australia).
Treatments for snoring and OSA up to now have had questionable results. Throat surgery is the more invasive option offered however that can be extremely painful with a long recovery and results are not necessarily guaranteed. Other treatments include sleep aponea machines (where you are hooked up to a machine with a serious looking mask over your face to help you breathe). Dion says he was also advised by a doctor to wear a mouthguard. “This can help some people a little, but there are problems with it. There are overbite issues, and the older you get the wider you have to open the mouth guard.”
Snore Stop Laser Treatment with Dr Jayson Oates
Dion says he had nothing to lose when he looked to try the laser treatment. “There is a big correlation to sleep and mental health. It affects cognitive functioning, mood and just about every area of your life.
Dion says his wife was also affected. “Her sleep was interrupted as well. She was really frustrated with me and for me. It was my wife who ultimately saw the ad in the paper about the laser treatments.”
The Snore Stop Laser procedure
Dion says the treatment was a little like going to the dentist. “It does hurt a little. A little like a bee sting – although my pain threshold is not great! I’m a typical male in that I’m not good with pain! Having said that, it really wasn’t too bad and was completely worth the slightly uncomfortable feeling. The procedure involved Dr Oates’ shooting a carbon laser, that sounds a little Star Wars… onto my top palate where he carefully ‘burns’ it and that triggers the body’s healing mechanisms and contracts the roof of the mouth which ultimately reduces symptoms of sleep aponea and snoring.”
Dr Jayson Oates at Academy Laser Clinics gives us a more detailed insight into how the procedure works. “Snore Stop Laser uses CO2 technology, which is the gold standard in skin tightening. The advantage of the CO2 laser (over other lasers), it that it produces more heat, which has been shown to cause greater contraction of tissue. Importantly, the V2LR laser (exclusively used by Snore Stop Laser) offers the unique “D Pulse” specifically designed for rejuvenation and tightening of mucosal surfaces. The treatment delivers maximum heat into the tissue via thousands of tiny fractionated “Dots”. This allows for rapid healing and minimal discomfort. However, it usually requires 4 treatments to get good coverage and the best results.”
Dion says the recovery was easy and was a good excuse for icecream! “It was about 4 hours with a dry/sore throat that needed cooling, and I was given lozenges to help. Lots of cold water and cold drinks.”
Dion had instant results. He says he felt like he slept better almost from the get-go. “My wife noticed within the first week that I was sleeping better with less interruption and snoring. By the fourth week the results really started to kick in. My wife says I’ve got at least 70% improvement on all the symptoms I had before the laser treatment and after ten years of suffering, that’s huge. We’ve got young kids so our sleep can be still quite interrupted! But as far as the sleep aponea and snoring goes, the results are good. I’m not so grumpy and my moods are much better.”
Dion has had two treatments with a third and possibly a fourth to come. He says, “I am optimistic that over all I’ll get even more gains from the treatment.”
No rebates or Medicare coverage
Currently, insurance companies do not provide any rebate on laser treatment for OSA or snoring. Dion says this should change. “There should be more scientific studies on the condition and this treatment so it can be more widely known as a solution to an age old issue. The Snore Stop Laser treatment is non-invasive, you need no time off work and it works!”
Dion advises anyone with OSA or snoring issues to look into having the Snore Stop treatment. “You have nothing to lose. It’s worth trying just for the improvement in your moods. For me, that was the biggest thing.”
If you’d like more information on Snore Stop Laser at Academy Laser Clinics check out their website. They have two locations, one in Crows Nest Sydney, phone (02) 9439 9293, and the other in WA, phone (08) 9382 3238.