Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder with significant health risks. Without treatment, sufferers of OSA are at a higher risk of high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you have been diagnosed with OSA, you should know there are several treatment options that can bring you relief. Dr. Radfar will help you explore your options and find the right solution for your needs.
Sleep Apnea Oral Appliances
Oral appliance therapy is a popular first-line treatment option for those with mild-to-moderate OSA. Oral appliances fit in the mouth like a night guard or sports guard. These appliances are custom fit and worn while you sleep. They prevent the tongue and other soft tissues from collapsing over the back of the throat, which helps keep the airways open. This promotes optimal airflow and healthy sleep patterns in people with OSA or those who snore.
If you snore, have mild or moderate sleep apnea, or have more severe OSA and have not been able to tolerate other therapies, oral appliances may be a good option for you. Oral appliances can also be used in conjunction with other therapies.
Appliances do need to be professionally fit by our experienced sleep apnea dentist, Dr. Radfar. Over-the-counter snoring devices are not designed to address sleep apnea and could aggravate the problem.
A Continuous positive air pressure machine, or CPAP, is the standard OSA treatment and the most common choice for most sufferers. It consists of a special pump that pushes air through tubes that are connected to a face or nasal mask. The positive air pressure keeps nasal passages and airways open to prevent the collapse that occurs with OSA. CPAP is an effective treatment for patients with any level of sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Surgery
Surgery is not a first line treatment for those with OSA, but it can be an option for those who do not respond to more conservative therapies, such as an oral appliance or CPAP machine. Several types of sleep apnea surgeries are available and generally chosen based on a patient’s individual risk factors and needs. A careful evaluation of your symptoms and anatomical structures will be needed to determine the location of the obstruction and the best solution.
Lifestyle changes can be effective at addressing OSA symptoms over the long-term. These can include weight loss, smoking cessation, alcohol reduction, and a change in medication. You may also need to consider changing the position in which you sleep. Lifestyle changes are typically used in conjunction with other therapies designed to provide immediate symptom relief.
Failing to treat sleep apnea could lead to a worsening of symptoms, deteriorating health, and decreased sleep quality. Proper treatment can help you get the sleep you need and improve your overall quality of life. Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Radfar, our sleep apnea doctor.