05 Jun Is there a cure for sleep apnea?
Do you think you might suffer from sleep apnea? Perhaps you have been recently diagnosed with this sleep disorder and are reviewing your treatment options. While sleep apnea can ravage your quality of life and health, there are treatment options. The type of treatment used varies on a person’s needs and the underlying causes of their sleep apnea. Sometimes, oral appliances and respiratory machines that aid in proper breathing are useful treatment protocols whereas other patients may need surgical intervention to find long-term relief of their symptoms when non-surgical treatment methods fall short. Determining the type of treatment one needs normally involves visiting a dentist or an oral surgeon for a sleep apnea consultation where the oral cavity is examined. This consultation is how oral healthcare professionals determine the underlying cause of apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes a person to cease breathing during rest. The cessation of breath happens when one is not conscious and therefore the brain has to alert the body to wake slightly so that proper breathing is resumed. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a chronic sleep disorder where apnea occurs many times throughout one’s sleep on a daily basis.
Why does sleep apnea occur?
There are a few different causes of sleep apnea. The most common are oral and nasal abnormalities that obstruct breathing, especially when a person is lying down. Overgrowth of oral tissue at the back of the mouth commonly obstructs breathing. Narrow airways caused by misaligned jawbones may also contribute to sleep apnea. Other causes of sleep apnea include obesity, sedative and alcohol use before bed, and tobacco use.
What should I do if I have sleep apnea?
If you haven’t been formally diagnosed with OSA, you should have a sleep study performed. A sleep study will monitor your breathing patterns while you rest and provide tangible data that will determine whether you have sleep apnea. Once diagnosed with sleep apnea, you should consult with an oral health professional for treatment. A physical examination will determine the best course of action for treatment.
Call us today at Great River Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery to reserve an appointment with our oral surgeons.