Although sleep apnea can up your risk of heart disease, hypertension, and involvement in car accidents, not all sleep apnea cases are serious medical issues requiring surgery. Sleep apnea can range in degrees of seriousness. Oftentimes doctors will recommend sleep apnea treatment options such as lifestyle changes. These changes often include weight loss and quitting smoking. When lifestyle shifts prove insufficient for treating sleep apnea, there are therapies and devices that can also help.
Some common sleep apnea treatment options are:
- Oral appliances
These devices are easy to wear and can be custom-made to fit your mouth. Wearing an oral appliance will help keep your throat open and your airway unobstructed. Many of these devices are fitted to push your jaw forward, a simple adjustment that is often enough to put snoring to a stop. Regular visits with your sleep apnea dentist are required as you continue to use your appliance. These visits will help ensure your appliance still fits.
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
When discussing sleep apnea treatment options, it is impossible to fail to mention this one, as it is one of the most popular and effective. It involves a machine pumping pressurized air into a mask worn over your nose during sleep. The air from the machine should be set to just above the air pressure in your room, as only enough to keep your airways open is needed. Many patients find coupling this breathing machine with a humidifier provides even better relief.
Surgery is often the last of the sleep apnea treatment options explored. The goal of sleep apnea surgery is to widen a narrow airway, make breathing easier, and eliminate snoring. Sleep apnea surgeries may include tissue removal, jaw repositioning, or soft palate implants.
In cases of mild sleep apnea, a nasal decongestant often proves useful, as well as abstaining from alcohol at least two hours before bedtime. Every sleep apnea case is different and requires an individualized treatment plan. Consult a specialist before undergoing any type of treatment option for sleep apnea. Call our office today to schedule an appointment with a member of our skilled medical staff.