Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are three types of medical treatments available to the sufferers of obstructed sleep apnea: surgery, CPAP therapy and oral appliance therapy.
- Surgical Treatment
- CPAP Therapy
- Oral Appliance Therapy
The surgical treatment of Obstructed Sleep Apnea is often relegated to as a last resort. This is due to the invasive nature of the treatment, and is the most fraught with potential complications. In addition, the surgical options have shown to be effective in roughly half of Obstructed Sleep Apnea cases. Most physicians and patients will agree that the failure rate is far too high to consider surgical means a primary treatment to correct snoring and Sleep Apnea.
In the past, CPAP therapy, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure was the gold standard in the treatment of Obstructed Sleep Apnea. However, a great number of OSA patients are non-compliant with this form of treatment, since it involves the placement of a mask over the nose and mouth of the patient. The mask is attached to an air pump and delivers a continuous supply of oxygen to the body. The pressurized air delivered by this method helps to prevent the collapse of the airway. Yet all too often, CPAP treatment is deemed excessively uncomfortable by the patient. Because of this reason, treatment is often abandoned resulting in the persistence of the debilitating effects of Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Oral appliance therapy is the first choice of physicians and patients seeking treatment of Obstructed Sleep Apnea today. The array of oral dental appliances are deemed far more comfortable to wear during sleep than the CPAP by a majority of patients. Obviously, this results in a far greater success rate in the treatment of OSA. Basically, oral dental appliances are custom fitted to the individual's specifications of the jaw. Oral dental appliances are created with materials such as acrylic, plastics, and sometimes include metal components. Oral dental appliances work by adjusting certain specific parts of the jaw or mouth. The base of the tongue is often manipulated in way that allows for the opening of the previously obstructed airway; eliminating the causes of the sleep apnea through a sort of physical "re-training" of the placement of the jaw and mouth.