Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

The treatments for milder forms of obstructive sleep apnea are similar to the treatment of snoring. These include:

Behavioral changes:

  • Weight loss - as little as 10 pounds can make a difference
  • Change of sleeping position - lay on your side instead of your back
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine and heavy metals - at least 3 hours before bed time
  • Avoid sedatives - can relax your throat muscles and increase the tendency for obstructive related snoring
  • Eliminate allergens - if you suffer from allergies, eliminate allergens from the bedroom – such as pets, regularly wash sheets in hot water to remove dust mites, and remove mold.
  • Use a humidifier if the air in your room is too dry

Medications:

  • Medication for nasal airway obstruction - nasal steroid sprays, decongestants,
  • Thyroid replacement therapy (for hypothyroidism)
  • Weight loss medications
  • Sinusitis and congestion medications

Dental Appliances

  • Dental appliances that pull the tongue and lower jaw are excellent for snoring and mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP):

  • CPAP is the best nonsurgical treatment for obstructive Sleep Apnea. However, 70% of patients with CPAP to treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea stop using the device within a year because they find it uncomfortable to wear. Because dental appliances are more comfortable, many patient choose to use dental appliance to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea.


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Patient with CPAP device

Surgical Therapy

  • There are many different surgical techniques to reduce or alter the tissue in the nose, mouth or throat. The techniques vary in the tissue treated, location and technique (laser, scaple, implants, etc.). The particular techniques are beyond the scope of this discussion.

 

2009 Paul Plascyk, DDS • Site designed and maintained by TNT Dental