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Non-Surgical And Surgical Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea

According to the National Sleep Apnea Foundation, more than 18 million adults in America have sleep apnea. Due to the seriousness of the sleep disorder, it is imperative that you seek treatment if you have been diagnosed with it. There are non-surgical and surgical treatments options available. 

Non-Surgical Treatments

One of the most commonly used means of treating the symptoms of sleep apnea is the use of continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, therapy. During CPAP therapy, you wear a mask while sleeping. The mask goes over your nose and works to push air into your airways while you sleep. As a result, your airways remain open and this keeps you from stopping breathing while asleep.

CPAP therapy can be uncomfortable for some people due to the bulkiness of the mask. If you have trouble with it or if the air pressure seems to be too little or too much, talk to your doctor. He or she might need to adjust your pressure settings. You can also try switching to a different style of masks. There are a wide range of masks available, and the better your fit is, the more comfortable it will be. 

You can also be fitted for an oral appliance that works to keep your throat open while sleeping. The oral appliances are custom made and work by pushing your jaw forward. The pressure against your jaw forces your airways to remain open. However, this is usually only recommended for people who have mild cases of sleep apnea. 

Surgical Treatments

Surgery is considered to be a last resort when it comes to treating sleep apnea. It is also ideal for people who have structural issues with their jaw. The surgery your doctor recommends depends largely on the exact cause of your condition. 

For instance, if you have jaw structural issues, repositioning the jaw is one possibility. During the procedure, your doctor will move the jaw so that it is permanently forward and not causing an obstruction of your airway. 

Another sleep apnea procedure involves your doctor to insert plastic rods into your soft palate. The rods helps to keep the airways open and is best when used for people with mild sleep apnea. 

Your doctor might rely on a combination of treatments to treat sleep apnea. It is important that you work closely with your doctor to determine what does and does not work so that you can avoid a complication.