Sleep disorders such as snoring, obstructive sleep apnea, and insomnia, affect a large amount of the population (up to 45 million people in the USA alone).
Snoring is not only a social problem, but is closely implicated as being associated with obstructive sleep apnea (which is a known factor in many other medical disorders including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, sexual dysfunction, and headache, as well as a higher propensity for motor vehicle accidents).
There is growing evidence of sleep apnea contributing to traffic accidents, and is now even punishable by imprisonment in certain states and Great Britian.
In some cases weight loss can help improve or eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms if you are overweight or obese. Overweight people often have thick necks with extra tissue in the throat that may block the airway. There is no guarantee that losing weight will eliminate your sleep apnea, though it may help. This approach is more unlikely to make a difference in patients with a narrow nasal passage or airway.
An oral appliance is a device that fits in your mouth over your teeth while you sleep. It may resemble a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer.
The device helps prevent the airway from collapsing by holding the tongue in position or by sliding your jaw forward so that you can breathe when you are asleep.
Some patients prefer sleeping with an oral appliance to a CPAP machine. A dentist trained in dental sleep medicine can fit you with an oral appliance after you are diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Oral appliance therapy is recommended for patients with mild to moderate apnea who cannot tolerate CPAP.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is the frontline treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP therapy keeps your airway open during the night by gently providing a constant stream of air through a mask you wear while you sleep.
This helps eliminate the breathing pauses caused by sleep apnea, to help reduce snoring or making choking noises in your sleep. CPAP’s have helped some patients with sleep apnea be able to sleep through the night without waking up from a lack of oxygen.
There are a variety of surgical options you can elect to have if CPAP or oral appliance therapy does not work for you. The most common options help reduce or eliminate blockage.
Dr. Gadlage has over 30 years of experience in Traditional Sinus Surgery, Sleep Apnea Surgery, was one of the first ENT’s in the South who routinely utilized Balloon Sinuplasties, has now performed thousands with successful results, and now regularly performs the generally quicker, less invasive In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty procedure. Book an appointment for a sleep apnea evaluation today and learn more about what treatment options are recommended based on your initial diagnosis.
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