If you have been diagnosed with any of the three types of Sleep Apnea, it is important to begin an individualized treatment plan right away. There are many effective treatments available. Dr. Werleman will work with you and, if needed, other trained medical professionals, to ensure you receive the treatment you need.
Your treatment for Sleep Apnea may include:
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy. Is the most common and effective treatment for sleep apnea by using of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine while you sleep. The machine delivers pressurized air to a face mask you wear while you sleep; the additional pressure keeps the airway open. CPAP therapy requires you to wear a mask as you sleep. Although CPAP therapy is effective, some people are unable to adhere to it. Your doctor should consider giving you a prescription for a sleep apnea appliance if you are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy or prefer an alternate treatment.
However, a CPAP machine does have a few disadvantages, including discomfort while attached to the machine, nasal congestion and dryness, or claustrophobia. These effects can be so pronounced for some patients, they’re unable to adjust themselves to the machine.
Oral airway appliances. A custom oral appliance is created and worn at night, which works to move the jaw forward thereby increasing the size of the airway. There are two types of oral appliances, the Jaw Advancing Device (JAD) and the Mandibular Advancement Device (MAD). Both of these appliances function by moving the jaw forward to increase the size of the upper airway, which reduces the air resistance that leads to snoring and sleep apnea.
Consultation services. Like any form of therapy, sleep apnea therapies can only be successful when utilized as directed by our doctor. We know that it can be difficult to adapt to using a CPAP or oral appliance while you sleep. Our Masters-level counselor has the training and experience to help you through your adjustment period and ensure you are able to sleep comfortably with your CPAP or oral appliance. Additionally, Hanover Dental Sleep Medicine includes treatment for insomnia, help with weight loss, and other forms of behavioral medicine.
Positional therapy. CPAP or Oral appliance therapy may not be completely successful in preventing airway collapse if you tend to sleep on your back. Positional therapy provides simple adjustable pads to keep you on your side while you sleep.
Physical Therapy. Many patients unknowingly suffer from symptoms of sleep apnea for years before seeking treatment. After such an extended period of unconsciously adapting to poor sleep breathing, it is common to experience issues with poor posture, compensating muscle strain, chronic pain, and frequent headaches. We partner with trained therapists who are able to help you correct these damaging sleep habits.
Orofacial Myology. Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea experience issues with their tongue relaxing to block the back of their throat during sleep. Professionals trained in orofacial myology can help improve muscle tone and retrain your tongue to maintain its proper position during sleep.
Surgery. Includes a variety of procedures. Surgical procedures may help people with sleep apnea. Surgery is reserved for people who have excessive or malformed tissue that is obstructing airflow through the nose or throat. These procedures are typically performed after sleep apnea has failed to respond to conservative method such as oral appliance or CPAP. All have varying side effects and rates of success.
Types of surgery include:
- Turbinoplasty or polyp removal
- Tongue advancement or reduction
- Upper and Lower Jaw Advancement
In very mild cases of sleep apnea, conservative therapy may be all that is needed. These treatments include the following:
- Weight Loss
- Substance Cessation
- Positional Therapy
- Non-surgical means of addressing environmental allergies and sinus conditions
For more information or to schedule a consultation with our doctors, call our office today.