Which obstructive sleep apnea treatment options are for you

Mentioned below are some Obstructive Sleep Apnea treatment options you should be aware of- 

 

  1. Positive Airway Pressure Devices

Positive airway pressure machines, used with a variety of breathing masks, are the most widely used treatment for moderate and severe sleep apnea. The mask, worn snugly over the nose, or sometimes nose and mouth, during sleep, supplies pressurized air that flows continuously or intermittently into the sleeper’s throat. The increased air pressure prevents the sleeper’s airway from collapsing.

 

  • The pressurized air is supplied through a flexible tube from one of several types of machines: CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure), 
  • BiPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure), 
  •  VPAP (variable positive airway pressure), and so on. Studies of the effect of PAP therapy show that people with sleep apnea who consistently use their machines feel better and, as a result of the reduction of apnea and hypopnea episodes during sleep, encounter fewer complications of the disease. There’s more information about PAP therapy here.

 

  1. Oral Appliances

Oral appliances for the treatment of sleep apnea continue to increase in popularity as awareness grows amongst the public that oral appliances are an effective first line treatment for many sleep apnea sufferers. Over 100 different oral appliances are FDA approved for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. These appliances are worn in the mouth, just like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic appliance, while you sleep. Oral appliances hold the lower jaw forward just enough to keep the airway open and prevent the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from collapsing and blocking the airway.

The AASM also recommends oral appliances for patients with severe OSA, who are unable to tolerate or cannot wear CPAP devices. Another option for people with severe OSA is combination therapy (wearing CPAP and an oral appliance together) to help reduce the pressure on a CPAP machine, making it more comfortable to use.

Advantages of Oral Appliance Therapy

Oral appliance therapy is an effective, non-invasive treatment that fits easily into your lifestyle. Patients like oral appliance therapy because it is:

 

  • Comfortable
  • Easy to wear
  • Quiet
  • Portable
  • Convenient for travel
  • Easy to care for
  • Custom Made Oral Appliance vs. Boil and Bites
  • Although there are a few over-the-counter appliances you can purchase at drug stores or even online, remember that these oral appliances are not FDA approved for sleep apnea. When not fitted properly over-the-counter appliances can cause unwanted side effects, such as jaw problems or tooth movement or can even have the opposite effect and inadvertently worsen sleep apnea.

Finding a Dentist

Trained dental professionals will conduct a full evaluation of your teeth, mouth, and temporomandibular joint to ensure that your teeth and jaw structure are healthy enough to wear an oral appliance. Following the examination, you will have models of your teeth made and a follow-up appointment is scheduled to fit your custom oral appliance.  The American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine can help you find a trained dentist here

Adjusting to Oral Appliance Therapy

Since custom made oral appliances are adjustable, your dentist will work with you to maintain your jaw position by continuously monitoring your progress. It is important to maintain a prescribed follow-up schedule with your dentist to ensure the device is working, fitting properly and that you see an improvement in your symptoms. It usually takes only a few days to adjust to wearing the oral appliance all night while sleeping. Your dentist will review the details with you as well as the best way to maintain your oral appliance at home.

Types of Oral Appliances

Below are just a few examples of custom made oral appliances (also known as mandibular advancement devices or MADs) that are available.

These were some Obstructive sleep apnea treatment options you should know about. 

 

 

 

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