Sleep is one of the most important aspects of overall health. We feel wonderful when we have enough of it, but without it, our functioning, looks, and performance suffer. According to recent research, up to 75% of us have at least a few sleep problem on at least a couple of nights each week. If you’re feeling this way, at the very least know that you’re not alone. Everyone gets insomnia from time to time or has problems breathing at night as a result of allergies or the common cold. However, for those who have persistent sleep difficulties, it may become a severe problem with significant consequences on both physical and mental health. One of the most prevalent diseases is obstructive sleep apnea, which causes chronic sleeplessness.
What exactly is OSA and what does it do?
Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, happens when the soft muscle tissues around your airway relax during sleep and obstructs breathing. Apnea episodes can occur sometimes up to hundreds of times per night. A person suffering from sleep apnea, on average, has a total of about six episodes an hour. Each episode might last anything from a few seconds to more than a minute. This is frequently accompanied by choking, gasping, and snoring as well as many instances of sleeplessness as the sufferer attempts to breathe. Almost thirty million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, which translates to more than one in ten individuals.
Sleep deprivation can have a detrimental impact on one’s physical and mental health. These problems include weight gain, diabetes, irritability, and a lack of focus. Poor sleep has been linked to a variety of health problems, including arrhythmia, increased stress hormone levels and hypertension, according to several studies. Irregular heartbeats, high stress hormone levels, and hypertension are all associated with poor sleep in some cases. As you can see, getting adequate rest is more essential than ever before. Now that you understand how important sleep is, let’s look at some of the treatment options available for those who suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) Devices
Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) machines provide a constant stream of pressurized air via tubes connected to a portable machine and a mask that covers the nose, and sometimes also the mouth, of the person. CPAP is a form of positive airway pressure (PAP) that is used to keep the airways open by continuously providing a specific air pressure. This approach entails setting a pre-determined air pressure by a specialist based on an individual’s unique symptoms and requirements. The treatment also includes continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) to help keep the airway open. The CPAP machine maintains the required degree of pressure, which reduces the risk of obstruction and poor sleep.
Surgery as a Treatment Option
Surgery, while not generally the first line of treatment for sleep apnea, may sometimes help. A surgeon will attempt to identify where the blockage is in the airway and make surgical modifications in adults. It might be tough to identify the obstruction. When someone sleeps, numerous locations exist where tissue can settle down. Surgical procedures may sometimes be performed in stages to assist with this difficulty.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the excision of adenoids as one of the first treatment options for children with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This surgery may be beneficial in up to 75 percent of youngsters with this problem.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances are popular among those who suffer from chronic OSA. They have been proven to be an effective treatment for this problem. They are worn in the mouth while sleeping, helping to support the jaw in a forward position. In some respects, these appliances are comparable to a retainer or a sports or other physical activity-related mouth guard. They are also more portable and less expensive than a CPAP machine. They are also generally much more comfortable and safer than surgery for many people. And, as you’ll see later, they can be readily affordable using today’s technologies. Oral appliances are a viable option for many people with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, but it is important to see a dentist who can collaborate with you to decide on the best appliance for your needs.
Finding a Dentist
Consult with your doctor to see if custom-fitted oral appliance therapy may be the best treatment option for you. If you decide to go forward with this solution, your doctor will give you a prescription for a consultation with a dentist that specializes on the subject. The dentist will conduct a detailed examination to ensure that your mouth and joints are in good condition before fitting an oral appliance. After that, they’ll choose the most appropriate of the many appliances available. Your dentist will most likely recommend a dentist in your area, but the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine can also assist you in finding one if necessary.
Why is Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Necessary?
As previously stated, the value of adequate sleep cannot be overstated. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious condition that, if left untreated, may result in life-threatening consequences such as chronic tiredness, memory loss, lack of attention, and even an increase in the risk of traffic and workplace accidents due to all of these elements combined. Fortunately, there are several treatment choices for sleep apnea. Consult with your doctor to discover which one is appropriate for you.
If you are interested in learning more about using an oral appliance to treat your Obstructive Sleep Apnea, please contact Jeffrey W. Cross, D.D.S., F.A.G.D, at (301) 662-0300 today. Our qualified team may evaluate and provide you with all of the information you’ll need to make an informed decision regarding your therapy needs.
Call Jeffrey W. Cross, D.D.S., F.A.G.D, today at (301) 662-0300 to learn more about treating your Obstructive Sleep Apnea with oral appliances.