Although continuous positive airway (CPAP) pressure treatment is the most recommended treatment for patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), Not all patients have the ability to stay compliant with this kind of treatment. Some complain of claustrophobia, dry nasal passages, skin irritation from masks, difficulty tolerating pressurized atmosphere, and accidentally removing the mask when tossing at night.
For individuals like these, an alternative to CPAP therapy may be Recommended, and based on the degree of severity of the disease, may benefit from a substitute treatment like an oral dental appliance.
If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea — a condition in which relaxation of the muscles round the tongue and throat causes the cells to block airflow into the lungs as You sleep — there are a range of treatment options to discuss with your physician. Two of the most frequently used and most effective are continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and dental appliances, or mouth guards.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
The very best remedy for obstructive sleep apnea, CPAP blows air with constant pressure down your throat at night to keep your airways open while you sleep. The treatment is done with a CPAP machine, which includes three main components:
- Mask that fits over your nose or your nose and mouth — and can be held in place with straps while you sleep
- Motor that blows air
- Large tube called a cannula that connects the engine to the mask
CPAP machines are lightweight, small, and fairly quiet. If you travel, you should take your own CPAP with you.
Advantages of CPAP include maintaining your airways open while you sleep, relieving snoring, improving sleep quality, relieving daytime sleepiness, and lowering blood pressure.
Although you will likely feel relaxed and awake once You begin CPAP, getting used to the device can take some time. Some people have trouble sleeping the first few nights of therapy.
Side effects of CPAP usage are usually minor and may include:
- Feelings of confinement in the face mask
- Sore or dry mouth
- Nasal congestion, runny nose, sinusitis, or nosebleeds
- Irritation and sores over the bridge of the nose
- Stomach bloating and distress
- Discomfort in torso muscles.
If you are having any of these or other issues, call your doctor. An adjustment to your CPAP machine may make it more comfy. Some CPAP machines have special features like heated humidifiers to reduce problems like drying of the airways. Other possible fixes include having a cushioned face mask, chin straps, and nasal saltwater sprays. Your physician may have additional suggestions.
In case you’ve got mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and can not tolerate or have not been aided by CPAP, oral appliances could be an effective treatment alternative.
These devices, which must be fitted by a dentist or orthodontist, and worn at the mouth at night include:
Mandibular advancement device (MAD). The most commonly used mouth apparatus for sleep apnea, MADs seem much like a mouth guard employed in sports. The apparatus snap over the upper and lower dental arches and have metal hinges which make it possible for the lower jaw to be eased ahead. Some, like the Thornton Adjustable Positioner (TAP), permit you to control the amount of advancement.
Tongue keeping device. Employed less commonly than MAD, this gadget is a splint that holds the tongue in place to keep the airway open.
For Individuals with mild to moderate sleep apnea, especially Those who sleep on their backs or stomachs, dental apparatus may improve sleep and reduce the frequency and loudness of snoring. Additionally, people are more inclined to use their dental appliances frequently than CPAP.
Dental apparatus have also been demonstrated to control sleep apnea Long term when compared with uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), the standard surgical procedure for apnea, in which the surgeon removes soft tissue in the back of the throat. But, dental devices have some potential drawbacks, such as altered bite, motion of teeth, pain, arthritis of the temporal mandibular joint (TMJ), dry lips, and excessive salivation.
If You’re fitted with a dental apparatus you should have a Checkup early on to see if it’s functioning and periodic checkups for potential adjustment or replacement. If you experience pain or changes in your bite, your dentist or orthodontist who fitted your device might have the ability to make modifications to fix the problem.
The best remedy for obstructive sleep apnea Depends on lots of factors, including the severity of your problem, The physical construction of your upper airway, other medical issues you May have, in addition to your personal preference. You should work with Your physician or sleep specialist to pick the best treatment choice for you.