Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
We know it can be frustrating and disheartening to receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, but we promise you that it’s not the end of the world; you have options! The most common treatment for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine, but it’s not the only one.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine)
Most sleep doctors will prescribe a CPAP machine. It’s a mask you wear while you sleep, connected to tubes connecting to a machine that continuously pushes air into your lungs. It holds your airway open and provides the oxygen you need to breathe without apnea episodes. Clinically, it’s 100% effective and can be used to treat all forms of sleep apnea, from mild to severe.
However, many people find CPAP hard to adhere to, which causes them not to wear it at all or intermittently. This doesn’t get them the restorative sleep they need. CPAP only works when you wear it.
CPAP Alternative: Oral Appliance Therapy
An alternative sleep apnea treatment in Des Moines is oral appliance therapy. It’s a small, sleek appliance that you pop into your mouth whenever you sleep. It holds your airway open by repositioning your jaw forward. There is no extra air drying out your throat, no noise from a machine, and no mask or tubes. While your oral appliance only works when you wear it, it’s more comfortable, easy to use and bring with you, and people find it easy to adhere to treatment. No one has to know that you are even wearing it.
It’s effective for those with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. If you suffer from sleep apnea and are looking for an alternative treatment, your sleep dentist in Des Moines, IA, can fit you with a custom oral appliance.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help lessen your sleep apnea. Many overweight people suffer from sleep apnea, and if that’s you, weight management can help. Iowa Sleep & TMJ chooses a multi-facated approach to sleep treatment, so we offer weight management solutions like Ideal Protein.
However, if weight isn’t an issue, loosing more weight won’t help your sleep apnea.
We also offer positional therapy. It’s not a cure for sleep apnea, but it can help lessen your symptoms. When you sleep on your back, gravity can weigh the tissues in your airway down and cut you off from oxygen. But if you sleep on your side, we’ve found that sleep apnea episodes decrease. But we know that it can be difficult to only sleep on your side, after all, you’re sleeping! So, we offer a device called a “side sleeper.”