Sleep Apnea Treatment
Thankfully, there are a variety of sleep apnea treatments on the market today. For some this disease may seem somewhat “new” in a sense, due to it getting much more publicity nowadays. Sleep apnea however has been here all along; it just hasn’t been until recently that there were any major and effective breakthroughs in how it can be treated.
In terms of treating obstructive sleep apnea there are multiple ways in which you can go about it, everything from surgery to simply losing weight; however the most popular and effective treatments on the market currently, are dental sleep devices. There are three types of sleep apnea devices, often referred to as sleep apnea mouthpieces: Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD), Tongue Retaining Devices (TRD), and the Combination CPAP/Dental Sleep Device.
These devices are among the most popular for treating obstructive sleep apnea and snoring.The function of this device is to open the airway. The device achieves this by moving the lower jaw (mandible) forward. The tongue which is the largest muscle in the airway is attached to the lower jaw. The airway is thus opened by the devices’ forward advancement of the lower jaw and tongue in conjunction with the other muscles in the collapsible airway.
TRD’s perform a similar task to the MAD, however they work by holding the tongue itself forward but not the lower jaw. Tongue retaining devices directly control just the tongue.Some people find them to be less comfortable than a MAD, but with some cases they have shown to have decreased complications when compared to a MAD.
The CPAP is basically a pump that delivers a positive airflow into the collapsible airway. The CPAP machine is like a mask that gets worn during sleep, the pressure of the mask gets adjusted until the airway is getting a positive airflow. It can be likened to blowing up a balloon. CPAP machines have been proven to be the most effective devices to open the airway, but they also have many side effects and this in a lot of cases will lead to the patient taking the mask off.
The CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device has been around for quite a while now. However there have been a number of complications with wearing it, mostly having to do with level of discomfort to the patient. The high pressure needed for the CPAP to perform its function is often uncomfortable to the patient. So this device was created to ease the pressure level settings by also attaching a device similar to the MAD which moves the jaw forward slightly as well.
Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatments:
There are other alternative sleep apnea treatments available that while not as popular and effective as sleep apnea devices have shown to help people in some cases. These treatments include the CPAP, sleep apnea oral surgery, positional therapy and even in some cases weight loss has helped to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
One can also get obstructive sleep apnea surgery; by far the most common surgery is UPPP (Uvulopalatalpharyngealplasty). Basically this surgery consists re ofmoving the uvula, tonsils and other soft tissue in the soft palate. This type of surgery should really be treated as a last resort option, being because it is very painful, irreversible, and can cause some serious side effects. In addition this surgery is not all that successful at actually treating obstructive sleep apnea.
An often overlooked sleep apnea treatment by the medical field is positional therapy. The most common sleep position associated with snoring is the supine position. The supine position is when you sleep on your back. There are some cases where simply changing the position in which you sleep will drastically stop snoring and keep the airway open.
However, it is well known that for many people it’s not so easy to just change the position in which you sleep. This is where positional therapy comes into play. There are various apparatuses that can help to train a patient to sleep in a new position. It is recommended though not to try and attempt this on your own. You must seek proper treatment from a specialist in sleep apnea. Most of the times changing position alone will not cure the symptoms of sleep apnea, but in conjunction with other therapies and devices can help.
Another possibility is weight loss. In many instances weight loss to a certain degree will help treat obstructive sleep apnea; but again much like positional therapy this alone will not fully treat most cases of sleep apnea. Therefore making it essential to consult with your sleep apnea specialist to find out more about a specific plan for your treatment and how much weight loss can really play.
For those who are trying to find the right sleep apnea treatment for yourself or a loved one, the best thing to do is contact a sleep apnea dentist or doctor in your area who could help. We here at Sleep Apnea MD has a nationwide directory of specialists that are ready to treat you today.
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