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What Is The Best Treatment For Sleep Apnea?

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Your doctor can only prescribe lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or stopping smoking, for milder cases of sleep apnea. Your doctor will prescribe medication for your allergies if you are suffering from nasal allergies.

There are a variety of other therapies available if these interventions do not change the signs and symptoms, or if the apnea is mild to extreme. Some devices can help open up an airway that is blocked. Surgery may be required in other situations.

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Weight Loss

About 70 percent of people are overweight or obese with obstructive sleep apnea. They are generally encouraged by their health care providers to lose weight. Surprisingly, few systematic studies have been performed about how successful weight loss leads to less snoring and decreased cases of sleep apnea and hypopnea. Despite this, anecdotally, practitioners report significant changes in both OSA and snoring among weight loss patients. In certain cases , a doctor may wish to prescribe drugs for weight loss to an overweight or obese patient with OSA.

Positional Therapy

Only when you sleep on your back do certain people snore or have sleep apnea. By simply learning to sleep on their side, such individuals may remove or minimize airway blockage. Dropping a tennis ball in a sock and then pinning the sock to the back of the pajama top is the standard strategy to cause side-sleeping. There are also a couple of businesses that manufacture goods to prevent supine sleep. Generally, positional therapy works only in mild OSA cases. The airway fails in more serious situations, no matter what role the patient takes.

Use a humidifier

Humidifiers are devices which add humidity to the air. The body and the respiratory system can be irritated by dry air. You can loosen the airways, minimize congestion, and facilitate easier breathing by using a humidifier. Consider applying lavender, peppermint, or eucalyptus oil to a humidifier for added benefits. There are known anti-inflammatory and calming advantages to these three essential oils. Follow the instructions from the manufacturer to clean your humidifier. They can harbour bacteria and molds.

Avoid alcohol and smoking

Changes to lifestyles will enhance your health and facilitate healthier sleeping habits. To decrease sleep apnea symptoms, consider quitting smoking and limiting the consumption of alcohol. The throat muscles which control your breathing are relaxed by alcohol. This may contribute to snoring and a sleep cycle that is disrupted. It may also cause your airways to become inflamed, blocking your airflow.

Tobacco use, similar to alcohol, can also lead to inflammation and swelling in your airways. That can make your snoring and sleep apnea worse. Smoking was recognized in 2012 as a risk factor for developing sleep apnea. The study noted that people with sleep apnea may also be predisposed to smoking, so it may help to stop smoking by treating sleep apnea.

Oral Appliances

Oral sleep apnea treatment appliances continue to rise in popularity as public understanding increases that oral appliances are an important first-line treatment for many sufferers of sleep apnea. For the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea, over 100 different oral appliances are FDA approved. These products, much like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic brace, are worn in the mouth when you sleep. To keep the airway open and prevent the tongue and muscles in the upper airway from weakening and blocking the airway, oral appliances hold the lower jaw forward just enough.

Oral appliance therapy (OAT) has been accepted as a first-line treatment for patients diagnosed with mild to moderate OSA by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). For patients with extreme OSA, who are unable to tolerate or can not wear CPAP instruments, the AASM also recommends oral appliances. Combination therapy (using CPAP and an oral appliance together) is another choice for people with extreme OSA to help lower the pressure on a CPAP machine, making it more convenient to use.

Positive Airway Pressure Devices

The most widely used treatment for moderate and severe sleep apnea is positive airway pressure machines, used with a variety of breathing masks. The mask, worn snugly over the nose, or often nose and mouth, during sleep, provides pressurized air that flows constantly or intermittently into the sleeper ‘s throat. The elevated air pressure precludes the airway of the sleeper from collapsing.


In treating snoring, surgery is sometimes successful. In treating obstructive sleep apnea, it is less effective. The challenge facing the surgeon is to decide what portion of the upper airway is causing the airflow obstruction. There are several potential locations, and the region that the surgeon can change is not identified by traditional sleep research. If the site in the airway is not treated by the surgeon, or if there are several sites of obstruction, sleep apnea is unlikely to reduce to a degree the reduces the need for further care.

There are several forms of operations currently used to treat sleep apnea, considering the several places where airway obstruction can occur. Iuvulopalatopharyngoplasty, or UPPP, is the most common. This operation’s success rate is around 50 percent. Using numerous staged procedures, some surgeons have achieved very high success rates. Nevertheless, most authorities prescribe regular re-assessment following surgery for sleep apnea.

Are You Looking for a Sleep Apnea Specialist You Can Trust?

With over 30 years of professional experience helping patients renew and beautifying their smiles, Balfour Dental continues to be the preferred dental office for families in Brentwood California and the surrounding communities of Antioch, Oakley, Discovery Bay and beyond. Dr. Rayani and Dr. Siao both have many different certifications, including Invisalign Certification, Implant Dentistry, Sleep Apnea Treatment, Cerec CAD-CAM Restorations, Neuromuscular Dentistry, and Implants respectively. Our dental office is locally owned and operated by Dr. Dimple Rayani and Dr. Sien Siao, two professionals with vast experience in Implant Retained Denture treatments as well as in general dentistry.  If you are looking to renew your smile, contact Balfour Dental today!

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