What Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing while you sleep. These pauses can be 10 seconds or longer and occur multiple times throughout the night. The pauses in breathing are caused by a blockage of the airway.
Why Does Sleep Apnea Need To Be Treated?
Sleep apnea causes increased stress on the body and can result in high blood pressure, higher risk of stroke, heart attack, and diabetes. It can also cause morning headaches and migraines. Untreated sleep apnea can also lead to memory problems, mood swings, irritability, and depression.
Different Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea
If your sleep apnea is mild, you may be able to treat it with the following lifestyle changes.
- Lose weight
- Don’t use alcohol and sleeping pills
- Change sleep positions - your sleeping can get better when you stay off your back.
- Stop smoking to prevent the swelling in your upper airway, which may make sleep apnea worse.
- Treat nasal allergies that may swell the tissues in the airways and make them narrower.
Oral appliance therapy:
Oral appliances are FDA-approved, safe, and very comfortable methods to treat sleep apnea. Oral appliances work by slightly advancing the lower jaw, opening the airway, and preventing the tongue and soft tissue from collapsing into the throat. Oral appliances are custom designed and fitted to each patient. They look like mouth guards and work by repositioning the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate, or uvula. This may bring these structures forward and prevent obstruction of the upper airway. Oral appliances are comfortable to wear, easy to wear, and easy to care for. Some patients even report that they sleep better with an oral appliance.
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is the preferred treatment for moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea. OAT is a comfortable, portable, adjustable device that fits in your mouth during sleep to maintain an open upper airway.
The most common surgery for sleep apnea is UPPP or uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. This surgery removes excess tissue in the back of the throat, which decreases the size of the airway. This makes it easier for air to move through.
Other surgical procedures to treat sleep apnea include:
- Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
- Maxillomandibular advancement (MMA)
- Nasal surgery
- Radiofrequency ablation (RFA)
- Palate surgery
- Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation ( Inspire )
To learn more about our services for sleep apnea, call us at (971) 339-0816 or visit the Sleep Health Partners office at 9370 SW Greenburg Rd, Suite 422 Rd Suite 422, Portland 97223.