The Most Effective Sleep Apnea Treatments
Sleep apnea is an extremely common yet potentially dangerous sleep disorder, so it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis to receive effective treatment.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects more than 18 million Americans - many of whom do not realize that they may have it.
It’s described as repeated stoppages of breathing during sleep, which can cause the oxygen level in your blood to dip. This puts a strain on your heart over time and can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including excessive daytime sleepiness and fatigue, as well as morning headaches.
How can it be treated?
Sleep apnea is caused by blocked airways, so treatment focuses on keeping these airways open at night. The most common forms of treatment include the following:
CPAP – A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine delivers a steady stream of air through tubes into a mask you wear over your mouth and nose at night. Although it’s often an effective type of treatment, many people use it sporadically or abandon its use entirely. Due to the fact that the mask can be uncomfortable to wear, and patients often find the forced air difficult to adjust to.
Oral Appliance Therapy – Oral appliance therapy is generally used as an alternative for patients who have trouble adjusting to a CPAP machine. These soft, comfortable plastic devices are worn only at night. They’re similar to mouthguards or oral retainers, and are very effective at treating sleep apnea. Uniquely designed, created and fit for each patient’s mouth - they help keep airways open by gently coaxing the jaw/tongue forward. Many patients find them easier to use, clean and transport when compared to CPAP. Patients who able to easily keep wearing their appliances, find that they are able to sleep better, have more energy throughout the day, and have an improved quality of life.
What else can you do to alleviate your sleep apnea symptoms?
Sleep apnea can put your heart health at risk, and daytime sleepiness and fatigue can make you more likely to have an accident throughout your day. In addition to getting an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment, you can also try the following tips:
Sleep On Your Side
Try sleeping on your side instead of your back. If you sleep on your back, your airways are more likely to partially close.
Avoid taking sedatives or drinking alcohol, especially close to bedtime. These substances can make your throat tissues loosen more than usual - making your airway more likely to become stuck.
Lose Weight If Possible
Excess weight can make the tissues in and around your airway larger and thicker.
Smoking can make your upper airway – including your throat and uvula – swell over time.
To find the best sleep apnea treatment, make an appointment today with eos dental sleep in Philadelphia. We offer individualized treatment plans for each patient. Our practice specializes in offering alternatives to CPAP, such as oral appliance therapy, and will work with you to find an effective treatment that’s comfortable and easy for you to use.