Find an alternative to CPAP treatments for sleep apnea at Lawrence Dental SolutionsBy Dr. Les Miller
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition experienced by millions of people. Because some of the most obvious symptoms mimic chronic snoring, many who suffer from apnea are unaware of the danger to their health and wellbeing. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) differs from snoring in that air flow is, at some point, completely inhibited. Brief episodes in which breathing stops may occur dozens of times each hour, posing a significant threat to health.
A vital step in preserving health is determining which treatments are available to reduce the effects of obstructive sleep apnea. First, we encourage our Lawrence patients to consult with their physician or our team regarding symptoms such as:
- Restless sleep patterns
- Loud, heavy snoring marked by momentary silence
- Gasping or choking sounds
- Persistent irritability or depression
- Lack of energy or, conversely, hyperactivity
- Difficulty concentrating
Standard medical treatment for OSATypically, people with obstructive sleep apnea are prescribed CPAP. This medical therapy delivers continuous positive airway pressure via a small machine, a hose, and comfortable mask worn over the nose or mouth, or both. CPAP is designed to gently force the airway open, dramatically reducing episodes of apnea, or absence of breath. For some patients, this approach to restoring sleep is sufficient. Research demonstrates, however, that CPAP is not tolerated well by everyone.
Some of the reasons for non-compliance to CPAP therapy include:
- Difficulty sleeping in the "right" position
- Unconscious removal of the mask during sleep
- Drying of the eyes, nose, and throat
- Discomfort from the force of air
An alternative solution to obstructive sleep apneaAt Lawrence Dental Solutions, patients may find oral appliance therapy is an ideal alternative to CPAP treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. This method is designed to open the airway through the alignment of the jaw and mouth. When the mouth remains slightly opened, airflow is much more likely to continue even when the muscles reach full relaxation.
One of the primary aspects of successful OSA treatment is compliance. Studies have shown that patients who do not tolerate CPAP therapy well are compliant to more comfortable treatment such as oral appliance therapy.
Your life, as well as the lives of your loved ones, may be severely affected by obstructive sleep apnea. If you suspect that you may have obstructive sleep apnea, contact our office for more information about your treatment options.
- Find an alternative to CPAP treatments for sleep apnea at Lawrence Dental Solutions
- What is the difference between snoring and sleep apnea in Lawrence?
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