Sleep apnea is a potentially dangerous condition as breathing stops and restarts constantly. This can cause more serious problems, heart disease, and high blood pressure. If you have been told you snore loudly, and when you wake up, you feel tired, it might be sleep apnea. Fortunately, Dr. Louis B. Conte and the team of dental professionals at Conte Dentistry in Red Banks, NJ, diagnose and treat sleep apnea to prevent more severe complications. Sleep apnea can be managed through the following nine ways.
- Positive Airway Pressure Devices
These are machines used widely with breathing masks to manage moderate and severe sleep apnea. It involves wearing a mask snuggly over the nose and sometimes covering your mouth as well during sleep. The device releases pressurized air that flows intermittently into your throat, preventing your airway from collapsing. Additionally, snoring is also eliminated.
- Neuro-Stimulation Therapy
If you cannot use continuous positive airway pressure therapy and moderate to severe sleep apnea, this can be your option. New types of therapies have been clinically tested and include hypoglossal neurostimulation therapy. It is used to treat obstructive sleep apnea, and neurostimulation therapy is used to manage central sleep apnea.
- Oral Appliances
The FDA has approved many oral appliances for the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It is one of the treatments increasing in popularity due to its effectiveness. It involves wearing the appliances in the mouth while you sleep to hold the lower jaw forward. This prevents the airway from closing and prevents the collapsing of the tongue and muscles in the upper airway.
- Prescription Medication
Sometimes even after sleep apnea treatment, some people still experience excessive daytime sleepiness, which is a chronic condition. This condition can be managed through medications that improve your wakefulness and improve your daytime functioning. However, this treatment relies on identifying and managing the underlying condition that might be contributing to the condition.
- Weight Loss
Many people who are diagnosed with sleep apnea are usually overweight or obese. Losing weight is encouraged as studies have found weight loss to reduce snoring and incidents of apnea and hypopnea effectively. In some cases, your provider can recommend some weight loss medications depending on the circumstances.
- Positional Therapy
In some people, sleep apnea is caused by poor sleeping postures, which promotes airway blockage. For example, some people may snore loud and experience sleep apnea while they sleep on their back. If this was to be corrected and you learn how to sleep on your side, you can discourage or eliminate airway blockage, which can, in return, reduce sleep apnea instances as you sleep. This is done through a traditional technique where a tennis ball is pinned at the back of your pajama top. However, a couple of companies now are making products that can discourage recumbent from sleeping.
- Nasal Decongestants
In some cases, nasal decongestants can reduce nasal congestion and manage snoring and mild apnea.
If other alternative treatments do not manage your condition, surgery can be recommended to treat snoring but is less effective in treating obstructive sleep apnea. The challenge comes when trying to determine which part of the upper airway is causing airflow obstruction. However, in children, the cause of sleep apnea or snoring can be more definitive as it can be enlarged tonsils, adenoids, or both. This can make a surgical procedure necessary for these tissues in order to cure the breathing problems.
If you have sleep apnea, you can reach out to Conte Dentistry to learn your Options.