What options do I have other than surgery to treat my sleep apnea? I need to start sleeping better at night but I do not want to go through an invasive surgery. I want to know my options.
Doctors Answers (6)
Non surgical treatment options would include CPAP and BiPAP therapy and possibly a mouth piece. However, should you choose a mouth piece you should have a sleep study with the mouth piece in! Many people believe the mouth piece corrects the sleep apnea but it might not. If the mouth piece does not correct the sleep apnea, you have left yourself untreated and at risk.
I assume you already had a sleep test that confirmed the diagnosis of sleep apnea. Additionally polysomnogram or sleep test is able to estimate severity of sleep apnea. Mild cases can be treated with oral devices, moderate to severe - with CPAP - continuous positive pressure machine that will keep your airway/ windpipe open during sleep hours. Treatment of sleep apnea is very individual- I suggest to make an appointment with your sleep doctor to have a specific discussion of your symptoms and treatment options.
Non-surgical treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea usually deal with: a) forcing air past the soft tissue obstruction (soft palate, uvula, tongue); you are fitted with a facial mask connected to a CPAP machine (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) b) wearing an oral appliance that moves the lower jaw forward; this opens the breathing area (pharynx) behind the tongue and soft palate. Before this, a referral to a sleep center for a sleep study (polysomnagram) is advised to rule out any other types of sleep disorders other than obstructive sleep apnea.
First, your medical provider should offer non-surgical options as part of the SOAPlan (the plan part) of your diagnosis. Second, is your apnea obstructive in nature, central mediated or a combination of both obstructive and central, called mixed apnea? Options may include but are not limited to: Surgical Weight loss Education on Sleep Hygiene/habits, CPAP, Auto-PAP, Bi-PAP, Oral appliance therapy: tongue retention device or mandibular advancement device (many choices), or sometimes it's a combination of the above. Also NUTRITION and addressing systemic inflammation concerns can help. Hope this has been helpful.
Either CPAP which keeps your airway open via air pressure or an oral appliance that repositions your jaw to keep your airway open when sleeping.
Treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea include: 1. CPAP therapy 2. Surgery a. Mandibular advancement b. UPPP (removing part of soft palate and sometimes part of tongue) c. Pillar procedure (plastic rods inserted into the soft palate) d. Tracheotomy e. Implanted stimulator in base of tongue to keep airway open (before the FDA) 3. Dental devices a. Mandibular advancement devices b. Tongue retractors 4. ProVent Nasal Devices 5. Positional therapy a. If apnea confined to sleeping on your back, use a roll bar shirt (sew Styrofoam tube into a pocket on reverse side of tee shirt) b. Elevate the head of the bed slightly with pillows, wedges or a brick under the bed post c. Sleep in a recliner 6. Dietary a. Maintain ideal body weight b. Avoid sedatives, especially alcohol, at bedtime 7. Oxygen if oxygen levels are low and you are CPAP intolerant. The best option is for CPAP therapy. Prior to 1980, tracheotomy was the best treatment.