Sleep Apnea Cure
An estimated 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Many of these millions are probably wondering about a sleep apnea cure. Sleep apnea is a tricky disorder to treat. Diagnosing sleep apnea is just as difficult, requiring sleep tests charting everything from brain activity to blood oxygen levels while you sleep. To most sleep apnea sufferers, a cure would simply be diminished symptoms. The following are some common ways doctors attempt to reduce symptoms in sleep apnea patients.
Oral appliances, issued by a specialized dentist, are custom-fitted for your mouth. Designed to either push the tongue or the jaw forward, all oral appliances work to keep the tongue from collapsing into the throat and obstructing the airway. For mild cases of sleep apnea, wearing an oral appliance during sleep is often enough to result in a sleep apnea cure.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
This treatment is well-known for its effectiveness in preventing snoring and sleep apnea. Pressurized air delivered via machine, hose, and face-worn mask keeps the airway open and allows for unobstructed breathing. Some patients find wearing the mask to be obstructive and uncomfortable, though many adjust to it over time and find the sleep apnea cure it affords offsets any discomfort.
When oral appliances and CPAP have each failed as a sleep apnea cure, your doctor may recommend surgical methods. Common sleep apnea-related surgeries are:
When the jaw is set too far back on the face, it is often easier for the tongue to fall backward into your airway during sleep, hindering breathing. Moving the jaw forward widens the space between tongue and soft palate. Following this surgery, if the tongue does collapse, obstruction is less likely to occur.
Tonsils and adenoids are often removed as part of this procedure, along with the tissues at the back of the mouth and the top of the throat. This removal results in less tissue in the throat to vibrate as you breathe, which often results in snoring.
These are plastic rods surgically inserted into your soft palate. The goal is for the soft palate to stiffen to avoid collapsing into the airway.
There are a variety of options when it comes to treating sleep apnea. To find out how best to handle your symptoms, schedule a consultation with one of our sleep apnea doctors today.