If you find yourself gasping for air in the middle of sleep, or if your family tells you that you do, seek help immediately. You may have the sleeping disorder known as sleep apnea. This condition is characterized by lapses in breathing for seconds to minutes at a time during sleep. When not treated in time, sleep apnea can be harmful to one’s health. Common symptoms include frequent night awakenings, poor mental alertness, and daytime sleepiness among others. Serious complications of this disorder include heart problems, stroke and worsening of ADHD. There are both medical and do-it-yourself remedies for sleep apnea. Using a combination of both can help you stop having apnea episodes while sleeping, and finally get a good night’s rest. Leading dentists in Newington, CT, Drs. Ted Adamidis and Aurora Dibner, discuss sleep apnea treatment in several ways.
Do-It-Yourself Sleep Apnea Treatment
Did you know that certain lifestyle changes can help you put an end to sleep apnea? Here are some things that you can do on your own to stop this disorder.
- Prop up your head with pillows during sleep. This facilitates better breathing.
- Stop smoking. Smoking irritates the throat and is believed to be a contributing factor to sleep apnea.
- Maintain a healthy sleeping schedule. Sleeping at irregular hours every day increases your chances of having apnea episodes.
- Do not eat a full meal 2 hours before sleeping. Allow your body to digest the food that you just ate, so you reduce your chances of having sleep apnea.
- Refrain from alcohol, sedatives, and sleeping pills. These relaxants make your throat muscles more relaxed than usual; thus, causing them to interfere with your breathing.
- Try not to drink caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea before bedtime. Bear in mind that you need to maintain a healthy sleeping schedule.
- Address any allergies or sinus problems. Use saline sprays, humidifiers and nasal dilators among others to decongest your nasal passageways.
Medical Sleep Apnea Treatment
Do-it-yourself treatments are often combined with medical techniques to address sleep apnea.
- Oral Appliance Therapy – This is often the first line of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. Oral appliance therapy can be provided by the dentist. These appliances move the jaw forward and reposition the tongue. This essentially clears the pathway for air. Oral appliance therapy addresses both sleep apnea and snoring.
- CPAP – This stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. This is the treatment recommended for moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea. The CPAP device is a machine that provides a continuous flow of oxygen. The machine comes with a face mask that the patient wears during sleep.
- Surgery – This is often the last option; recommended to patients who did not respond well to oral appliance and CPAP treatments. Surgery can be performed to enlarge the throat; removing excess tissues at the back of the throat. Your jaw may also be reconstructed to enhance the flow of air. Surgery is a riskier alternative, which is why it is offered as a last resort.
Visit Newington Family Dentistry for Oral Appliance Sleep Apnea Treatment
We use the Klearway™ appliance to treat sleep apnea. This device molds easily inside the mouth because it is made of flexible, thermoactive acrylic material. These oral appliances are customized to individual needs, so you will be sure to get the perfect fit. When worn during sleep, the device moves both the jaw and tongue forward; thus, enabling the patient to inhale a sufficient amount of oxygen. The Klearway™ appliance can effectively treat obstructive sleep apnea.
To know more about this treatment, schedule an appointment with any of our doctors at (860) 666-7910. You may also contact us online or visit our practice at 365 Willard Avenue, Newington, CT.
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