The Elgin Corners Dental Blog

Is CPAP the only treatment option for sleep apnea?

Is CPAP the only treatment option for sleep apnea?

C.P.A.P (continuous positive airway pressure) is typically the best treatment for severe sleep apnea.  However, if you suffer from mild to moderate sleep apnea, there are other treatment options that may help relieve your symptoms. 

If you've been diagnosed with substantial or severe sleep apnea, CPAP is generally the first and most effective treatment option.

That said, for those people who suffer from mild obstructive sleep apnea there are a few of other treatment options that may help to lessen your symptoms and allow you to get a good night's rest.

Only a medical professional can diagnose sleep apnea. Consult with your doctor before making lifestyle changes. 

Lifestyle Changes

To help treat, or even prevent, the symptoms of mild sleep apnea there are a number of lifestyle changes you might consider trying. 

The truth is that simple lifestyle changes may not work for everyone, but if you're aiming for a good night's sleep these changes may help.

Lose Weight

When it comes to relieving your sleep apnea symptoms, losing weight can be very effective. Some studies have shown that losing 10% of body weight may reduce sleep apnea symptoms by as much as a 30%.

Often those who are overweight have extra tissue around their airway. Losing weight can help to shrink this excess tissue, allowing air to flow more freely to the lungs.

Avoid Alcohol and Sedatives

Sedatives and alcohol may cause the throat muscles to relax, causing the airway to become restricted. Avoiding alcohol and sedatives may help to lesson the symptoms of sleep apnea in some people. 

Avoid Sleeping On Your Back

Gravity pulls on the tissues at the back of your throat if you sleep on your back. This could cause your airway to narrow or even completely collapse.

Try training yourself to sleep on your side instead of your back, to get a better night's sleep.

Propping pillows up against your back to prevent you from rolling over, or placing a tennis ball in your back pyjama pocket when you go to bed can help you to stop sleeping on your back. 

Dental Appliances

Many sleep apnea patients find that dental appliances can help lesson the symptoms of mild sleep apnea. Your dentist can recommend, and fit you for, a suitable dental appliance.

Dental appliances for sleep apnea can help to reduce symptoms by holding the tongue and jaw forward, preventing them from slipping backwards and blocking the airway. 

It's important that your dental appliance is comfortable enough for you to wear every night. Your appliance can't work if you don't to wear it.

Two types of dental appliances are available for treating obstructive sleep apnea:

  • Adjustable dental appliances which are fitted to suit the size and shape of your mouth.
  • Fixed dental appliances which fit over your teeth, but can not be adjusted.
 Contact your dentist to find out more about dental appliances for sleep apnea.

Only a dentist or doctor can accurately diagnose sleep apnea. If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea contact your Surrey dentist today! You deserve a good night's sleep!

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