February 17, 2021
If you have obstructive sleep apnea, chronic snoring isn’t the only concern of leaving the condition untreated. Believe it or not, the frequent interruptions in breathing while sleeping will take a toll on your physical and mental health. Although you might not feel you need treatment, sleep apnea will not go away on its own. You must turn to the appropriate interventions and lifestyle changes to preserve your health and quality of life. Not sure where to start? Here’s the information you need to breathe better and sleep soundly.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
The most common form of sleep apnea is caused by an obstruction in the airway from the soft tissues in the back of the mouth collapsing. This can be the result of several issues, like a floppy soft palate, large tongue, or big tonsils or adenoids; therefore, you can’t expect sleep apnea to go away without any treatment.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated?
Your sleep specialist will identify the cause of the obstruction to create an effective strategy to stop the pauses in breathing. There are several treatments for sleep apnea depending on your individual needs, such as:
The most traditional treatment is a CPAP machine, which delivers a steady stream of air pressure through a mask worn over the mouth or nose to keep the airway open.
Often used as an alternative to CPAP, the small device repositions your lower jaw forward to prevent the soft tissues from blocking the airway.
A poorly aligned bite and issues with the temporomandibular joint can cause the airway to be narrowed.
Obesity is linked to increasing the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Maintaining a healthy weight can take the pressure off the airway to keep it open.
Nasal congestion can cause reduced airflow. Treating allergies with an antihistamine can prevent congestion that can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea.
If large tonsils or adenoids are the cause, removing them can make the airway bigger to stop symptoms of sleep apnea.
A deviated septum can limit airflow through the nose. Correcting the abnormality can improve breathing to help you get the rest you need.
Which Treatment is Right for Me?
Most patients with obstructive sleep apnea benefit from a CPAP machine or oral appliance therapy. When used correctly, you can enjoy a significant reduction in sleep apnea symptoms. When combined with lifestyle changes, you can achieve permanent relief.
If you have sleep apnea, don’t ignore it because it won’t resolve on its own. It’s best to visit your sleep specialist for an effective treatment using a personalized approach to breathe easier.
About Dr. David B. Schwartz
Dr. Schwartz has been practicing dentistry since 1988; however, he specializes in sleep apnea. He is one of the nation’s foremost experts in sleep dentistry using the latest treatments and techniques. If you suffer from sleep apnea or chronic snoring, contact our office today to schedule your consultation for sleep apnea therapy.
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