What Are Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea?
San Francisco Dentist Dr. Greg Larson • San Francisco, CA
There are different methods of treatment depending on the cause and the level of apnea. The goal of treatment is to normalize breathing during sleep. Normalizing breathing can eliminate daytime fatigue, remove unwanted mental health changes from apnea or lack of sleep, and prevent cardiovascular changes caused by the excess strain of improper breathing.
Critical first steps in treatment are lifestyle modifications. They include smoking and alcohol cessation, losing weight, and sleeping on your side.
Other treatment options are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
therapy. CPAP therapy keeps the airway open by gently providing a constant stream of positive pressure air through a mask. Many people have trouble using a CPAP machine and quit treatment before they get any lasting results.
Many adjustments can be made to the equipment to make it more comfortable and make the adjustment period smooth.
Mandibular Repositioning Device
This is a custom-made oral appliance for those with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea. This mouthpiece holds the jaw in a forward position during sleep to expand the space behind the tongue. This helps keep the upper airway open, preventing apneas, and snoring.
Untreated sleep apnea and its effects can have severe consequences. Any individual with excessive daytime sleepiness or other symptoms of sleep apnea should ask a doctor about their symptoms.