What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Aug 01, 2022

Have you been experiencing interrupted breathing episodes while asleep? Then you have a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause serious health issues such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular complications if not treated.

There are different types of sleep apnea and the most common being obstructive sleep apnea(OSA). When you have OSA, your breathing pattern will be repeatedly obstructed or deprived for 10 seconds and longer while asleep.

Sleeping on your back, obesity, taking certain medications, or taking alcoholic beverages before bed will increase your chances of getting OSA. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your airway is blocked by the soft tissue at the rear of your throat collapses while sleeping. Visit our dentist in Wall Township, NJ, if you have any questions about obstructive sleep apnea.

Diagnosing Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea diagnosis is made by evaluating your signs and symptoms, sleeping history, and tests and examinations. The dentist could also send you to a sleep specialist for further evaluation if necessary. This could involve you sending a night at a sleep center where they will monitor your breathing and body functions.

During the physical exam, the dentist will check your nose, mouth, and the back of your throat for abnormalities. They will measure the circumference of your neck and waist and check your blood pressure. Other tests that can be used to help diagnose obstructive sleep apnea treatment near you are, Nocturnal polysomnography. This test involves you being hooked up with a piece of equipment that will monitor your lungs, heart, arm and leg movements, brain activity, and blood oxygen levels when you are asleep. The test is done all night or part of the night in a split-night sleeping study. In the split night study, you must be monitored for the night’s first half. Then, if the diagnosis rules out that you have obstructive sleep apnea, your assigned staff will wake you up and give you continuous positive airway pressure for the remaining part of the night.

Home Tests. Your dentist may provide you with simple tests that can be used at home to diagnose sleep apnea. The test will measure your airflow, heartbeat, breathing patterns, and oxygen to blood levels. However, portable monitoring equipment cannot detect all cases of sleep apnea. Therefore, a polysomnography test can be recommended if your initial results are normal.

Effective Treatments For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea treatment options could include lifestyle changes, surgery, or medical equipment such as CPAP.

1. Changes

If you suffer from mild obstructive sleep apnea, your dentist will recommend lifestyle changes.

  • Stop smoking and taking alcoholic drinks before bedtime
  • Lose weight if you are obese
  • Avoid sleeping on your back
  • Take decongestant or allergy medications
  • Positive Airway Pressure (PAP)

This is gold when it comes to obstructive sleep apnea treatment. Studies have proved it to be an effective treatment for sleep apnea. PAP delivers air pressure through a mask fitted on your mouth and nose while sleeping. The air pressure from the machine is greater than the surrounding air, and it’s enough to keep open the airways, preventing snoring and apnea.

Despite the positive airway pressure being the most reliable treatment, it can cause discomfort to some people. However, with time one can learn to adjust the tension from the straps, making it comfortable and secure. Do try one or more masks until you find one that’s comfortable. If you start having complications, don’t stop using the PAP. Visit your doctor for adjustments.

There are various forms of positive airway pressure devices. The most common is fixed or continuous airway pressure (CPAP). In fixed CPAP, the pressure is always constant. Some CPAP machines contain adaptive pressure functions that improve comfort if you begin having problems with the air pressure. For example, one might benefit from using a humidifier with the  CPAP.

Get in contact with us at Susan J. Curley DDS despite the treatment if your weight increases or decreases by more than 10 percent or if you start snoring again.

2. Upper Airway Stimulation

This is used by people with moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea who can’t withstand CPAP. A surgical procedure implanted a small impulse generator under the skin of your upper chest. The device detects your breathing patterns and controls the stimulating nerves that control your tongue when necessary.