Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that is very serious as it could lead to many significant health complications. It happens during sleep, when your airway closes partially or fully limiting the airflow into our lungs which results in snoring. As breathing is the only way we can bring oxygen into our body, this will drop our oxygen levels and affect our muscles, heart, and brain.
It is important to pursue treatment once diagnosed with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) to regain control of your health and have the energy to enjoy life.
CPAP therapy is the most common way to treat sleep apnea, but not everyone is able to adjust breathing against an air pressure. If CPAP is really troubling you or if you have a very mild case of OSA, there are a few other alternatives.
This method is only best suited for mild cases of sleep apnea. Using an oral dental appliance shifts the jaw to allow more room for the airway to remain open. It also holds your tongue in place so that it does not fall back to block the airway. They need to be fitted by a qualified dentist who has trained in sleep medicine for a custom made fit.
The advantages of an oral appliance are that it is more cost friendly than CPAP Therapy. There is also no power required to operate the device making it travel friendly and quiet for your bed partner. However, the mouthpiece may lead to excess saliva, and soreness around the jaw.
A common reason why someone has sleep apnea is due to excess fatty tissues, enlarged tonsils or uvula which collapses and blocks the breathing airway while you sleep. There is always a risk when choosing the surgical route and possible side effects that may follow. A person with severe sleep apnea would probably benefit the most from a surgery compared to those who have mild to moderate OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea). Surgeries include soft palate implants, uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, repositioning the hyoid bone between the tongue and pharynx, and advancing the tongue and jaw.
3. Losing Weight
In cases where the person is overweight, diet and weight loss may be a great option to improve sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is generally an illness that does not go away unless there is a physical change. For those who suffer from sleep apnea due to excess tissue, losing weight is the best long-term treatment which can possibly eliminate obstructive sleep apnea. Dieting and healthy eating can be, but lifestyle modifications and exercise can benefit our overall health and even cure the condition.
4. Positional Therapy
Some patients have very mild sleep apnea while sleeping on their side, but once on their back, their AHI (Apnea–Hypopnea Index) would jump to more undesirable conditions. Positional therapy would be a great alternative; suitable for those who primarily have sleep apnea in supine position (back-sleepers). Items include belts, t-shirts, or pillows that have an object to prevent one from sleeping on the back.
Different sleep apnea treatment options can be used together to help improve breathing and snoring, however, whether it is CPAP or alternative treatments, you must consult with your physician as not every option is suitable for everyone. If you are still struggling with CPAP therapy or do not wish to begin, talk to your sleep specialist about alternatives to evaluate which options would be most beneficial to your needs.
To learn more about Cpap Therapy, callthe experts from SleepEh today or Contact us to schedule an appointment.