Elite Dental of Staten Island

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Treatments for sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition — fortunately there are a number of treatments available.

Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a range of other health issues, which is why it is so important that it is treated as early as possible. Thanks to new research, there are now a variety of treatment options available for the condition. Read on to find out more about how sleep apnea can be resolved and how we can help…

New treatment options

A fairly new treatment, hypoglossus nerve stimulation (HNS) involves the use of a small device, which is surgically placed in the chest. The device, which can be turned on and off by the patient, monitors one’s breathing during sleep and stimulates a nerve to actually keep the upper airway open. Although the treatment is new and more research is required, initial studies show that HNS generally improves the symptoms of sleep apnea and causes few side effects.

Another relatively new treatment, expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP) involves the use of disposable adhesive valves, which are positioned over the nose during sleep. When one inhales, the valve opens, helping to keep the airway free from obstruction. When one exhales, the airflow is directed into small channels, creating pressure and also keeping the airways open.

The tried and tested options

One of the most common forms of sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, which works with the use of a face mask. The mask delivers pressurized air to the airway, which prevents it from collapsing.

Oral appliances are also an effective option when it comes to the treatment of sleep apnea. Much like a mouthguard, an oral appliance moves the tongue and lower jaw upwards and forward in order to increase the size of the upper airway. Oral appliances are custom made for optimal comfort and are often recommended for patients with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.

For severe cases

Surgery is sometimes recommended in cases where patients have facial abnormalities, which are contributing to their sleep apnea. Some of the possible surgical treatments for sleep apnea include removal of the tonsils; removal of the adenoids; removal of excess throat tissue in order to widen the airway; tracheostomy; gastroplasty; nasal surgery; radiofrequency palatoplasty; tongue base suspension; and maxillomandibular advancement. If you are a candidate for any of these procedures, the details of the surgery will be explained to you at your consultation.

Behavioural treatments

In many cases, obstructive sleep apnea can be successfully managed with certain behavioral and lifestyle changes. Weight loss can often go a long way in improving the symptoms of the condition, while avoiding heavy meals at night and reducing one’s consumption of alcohol can also be helpful.

Sleep position training is also an effective treatment — patients are trained to sleep on their side, rather than on their back to promote continuous sleep and improve breathing.

Limiting the use of sedatives and muscle relaxants, as well as smoking cessation are also helpful behavior modification techniques.

If you would like to find out more about the sleep apnea treatments available at Elite Dental of Staten Island, please take a look here. Each patient is different, so we encourage you to come in and see us for a personal consultation.

If you would like to make an appointment, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our team is highly qualified and experienced and would love to help you achieve healthy, restful and restorative sleep. We use only the latest technology and procedures in the industry and tailor treatment plans to improve the quality of life for our patients. Find out more about our passionate and caring team here.