The Risk Factors and Treatment Methods for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that may affect both adults and children and may have significant health consequences if left untreated. This condition causes impairment in your breathing which results in decreased oxygen levels in your body. As a result, you may wake up multiple times during the night to open your airways. Most people with Carthay sleep apnea suffer from sleep inadequacy and may not be productive during the day. Your doctor may recommend different treatment methods and lifestyle changes to improve your condition, for example:
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
Poor Sleeping Position
You may be at a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea if you sleep on your back. This position causes the tongue and other tissues to move towards the airway, which may obstruct breathing. It is therefore essential to adjust to a different sleeping position to prevent constriction of your upper airways.
Excess Alcohol Consumption
Taking alcohol in large amounts may cause slackening of the tissues near the airway and increase your risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Your doctor may advise that you avoid taking alcohol, especially in the hours close to bedtime.
Excess fat deposits in your body may accumulate or deposit on the walls of your airways. This may partially block the passways and make breathing difficult.
What Is the Treatment for Sleep Apnea?
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
This is the standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, which facilitates continuous breathing without sleep fragmentation. It involves using a machine that delivers air at a consistent pressure level through a special mask to your air passways. A suitable cover for you depends on your sleeping position and other factors, including how you breathe – through the nose or mouth, so you have to find the best side to sleep on. Your doctor will help with the pressure settings based on measurements obtained by your health care team.
While this form of therapy is very effective, most people find the mask bulky and uncomfortable to wear. This may make it hard to adhere to the prescribed treatment. Fortunately, your specialist may ensure comfort by selecting a suitable mask for you and addressing discomfort concerns caused by other aspects of PAP therapy.
Mouthpieces or oral devices are a treatment option for mild to moderate sleep apnea. These appliances can be found over-the-counter, or your dentist may make a custom-fitted device for you. The two main types of oral appliances include:
- Mandibular advancement devices (MAD)- Keep your airways open by holding the lower jaw pulled forward. People who grind and clench their teeth may also benefit from these devices. These oral appliances also help reduce chronic snoring.
- Tongue retaining devices (TRD)- Hold your tongue in place and prevent it from sliding back in the mouth at night. The tongue may partially block the airway when it moves back and disrupt breathing. While most patients prefer a MAD mouthpiece, its efficacy for sleep apnea is similar to that of a TRD mouthpiece.
If your condition does not improve after using conventional treatment methods, your doctor may recommend surgery. Reserve a session with your Smile Perfector Dental Group specialist to learn more about sleep apnea.