How do you treat sleep apnea without CPAP?
What is Sleep, Apnea?
It is a potentially life-threatening sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Your brain and the rest of the body is deprived of oxygen.
Sleep apnea is grouped into three:
- Obstructive sleep apnea. This disorder occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your throat collapses during sleep. The collapsed tissue blocks the airways.
- Central sleep apnea. The airway isn’t blocked, but your brain fails to signal the respiratory muscles to breathe.
- Complex sleep apnea syndrome. It’s a combination of central and obstructive sleep apnea.
What Are the Causes and Risk Factors?
From the explanation of the different types of sleep apnea, a collapsed tissue in the back of the throat leads to sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea can develop in anyone regardless of age. However, the following risk factors increase the chances of developing sleep apnea:
- Excess weight. Fat deposits around the upper airways can block breathing.
- Gender. Men are at risk of developing sleep apnea than women.
- Family history. If your close family member has had the condition, you are at increased risk of developing the potentially serious condition.
- Alcohol consumption. Alcoholic drinks relax the throat muscles, which can trigger sleep apnea.
- Smoking. Smoking results in inflammation and fluid retention in your airways.
- Narrowed airways. Enlarged adenoids or tonsils can narrow and obstruct your airways, putting you at more risk.
- Nasal congestion. Difficulty breathing puts you at risk of having sleep apnea.
- Heart disorders. Congestive heart failure increases the chance.
If you don’t seek sleep apnea treatment while the disease is in its early stages, you will be at risk of the following health problems:
- High blood pressure.
- Heart failure, irregular heartbeats, or heart attack.
- Severe headaches.
- Liver problems.
- Daytime fatigue.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea?
If you experience sleep apnea symptoms like gasping for air during sleep or at risk of developing the condition, visit our clinic. Our dentist in Hemet, CA, will recommend you to do a sleep test to confirm your diagnosis. If we confirm you have the condition, we will start a personalized sleep apnea treatment plan such as:
1. Oral appliance.
Our dentist will get a digital impression of your mouth and customize an appliance for you. You will wear it at night. The appliance will comfortably fit in your mouth, push the jaw forward, retain your tongue, and keep an open airway. The treatment option is ideal if you travel a lot, and it’s easy to care for oral dental appliances.
2. Oral surgery.
Our surgeon removes and repositions the excess tissue to make the airway wider. For example, the dentist removes enlarged tonsils or adenoids and repositions the muscles of your soft palate.
3. Weight loss.
Obesity is a risk factor; therefore, if you are obese, our dental team will recommend a weight loss program. Exercising and dieting help you shed fat deposits in your body. Weight loss is used together with other sleep apnea treatment therapies.
4. Alter sleep position.
Altering sleep positions may improve sleep apnea symptoms. According to case studies, sleeping on the back worsens the condition. Therefore, sleeping on the side improves breathing. Sleeping on the right side reduces snoring and improves blood flow.
5. Try a humidifier.
Humidifiers are appliances that add moisture to the air. Dry air may irritate your respiratory system. Our dentist in Hemet, CA, recommends a humidifier to open the airways, reduce congestion, and improves breathing. For better results, you can add essential oils to the humidifier, such as peppermint or lavender. The oils have anti-inflammatory and soothing effects.
6. Avoid alcohol and smoking.
Lifestyle changes may improve your overall health and encourage good sleeping habits. Quit smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages to decrease sleep apnea complications.
Irritability, loud snoring, and morning headache can be symptoms of sleep apnea. Visit Glenn C. DelaRoca, DDS, if you have such symptoms. Book an appointment with our dentist, and we will come up with a personalized treatment plan if we diagnose the sleep disorder. Contact us today, and we will walk with you until the symptoms improve.