Sleep apnea is a disorder that occurs due to complete or partial blockage of the airway as you sleep. During sleep, the soft tissue in the back of the throat relaxes and blocks the airway. Therefore it causes you to snore and gasp for breath. When this happens, the brain wakes you up to restart your breathing.
The disorder prevents you from resting well and affects your health and productivity. Therefore, you should contact a dentist’s office near you if you think you may have sleep apnea. The main treatment for sleep apnea is a device known as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This device contains a mask worn over your nose or mouth and pushes air via the nose and mouth.
The Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP device is quite effective as it keeps the airway from collapsing during sleep. However, many people avoid or discontinue using it since they find it uncomfortable. However, if you are one of them, do not despair. You can still have sleep apnea treatment without CPAP. Continue reading for more information on the treatments.
4 Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
- Positional sleep apnea treatment
In some cases, the sleeping position may impact a person’s ability to breathe, leading to sleep apnea. For instance, when you lie on your back or supine position, the tongue, lower jaw, palate, and uvula tissues block your airway. As a result, your breathing and sleep are disrupted.
Treatment begins after a sleep study. First, the specialist will assess your potential risk of having positional sleep apnea during the study. They will then recommend therapies to help you keep off your back when sleeping. Positional therapy involves wearing special devices that force you to sleep on your side instead of your back. They alert you to change position whenever you lie on your back.
- Undergoing a weight management program
Overweight people are at a high risk of obstructive sleep apnea. This is because the fat around their neck and throat may restrict airflow during sleep leading to sleep apnea. Losing weight can help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms and even cure the condition.
The doctor will help you lose some weight through the right combination of exercise techniques and dietary changes. In addition, the specialist may perform bariatric surgery to aid weight loss in extreme cases.
- Surgery for sleep apnea
Oral surgery is another sleep apnea treatment without CPAP. It is recommended for people who have trouble breathing when asleep due to extra tissue in their throat or big tonsils. The procedure at a dentist’s office may also involve the tongue, uvula, soft palate, and jaw. Surgery for sleep apnea changes the patient’s anatomy that helps them to breathe well.
- Consider changing some of your everyday habits.
Changing some lifestyle habits goes a long way in treating sleep apnea. For instance, smokers can quit the habit since it increases airway swelling resulting in OSA. Alcohol relaxes the upper airway muscles making it harder to breathe. Avoiding alcohol before bed will help. Ensure that the nasal passages are not clogged up by taking antihistamines or a nasal decongestant.
How to Make CPAPs More Comfortable
If you prefer the CPAP device over these other treatment methods, there are ways to make it comfortable. They include:
- If your mask is uncomfortable to wear, ask a specialist to help you adjust it so that it fits properly. You can change the mask to a different one that is suitable for you.
- Some people have an allergic reaction to their CPAP masks. You should clean the mask more often and switch it to a latex-free one if you do.
- Others have a dry mouth after wearing the mask. It may be due to sleeping with your mouth open or breathing through the mouth. Adjusting the heated humidifier or getting a chin strap for use at night will help.
How to Get CPAP Alternative
Relief from sleep apnea can come in many ways, not only the CPAP device. If the machine does not work for you, contact us at Family Dental Care for alternative treatment. Our team will work closely with you to help you correct your sleep routine. We will also ensure that you lead a healthy, productive life.