Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that occurs during sleep when the muscles of the airway collapse and obstruct the breathing pattern. Smile Perfector Dental Group has excellent colleagues in many different specialties for Carthay sleep apnea. The team provides a multidisciplinary treatment approach to help you get back your nights and dreams.

What causes obstructive sleep apnea?

The cause of sleep apnea is unfavorable anatomy; meaning anything that helps to narrow the upper part of the throat including the unfavorable position of the upper and lower jaw and the presence of any excess soft tissue. This includes enlarged tonsils or bulkiness or unfavorable position of the tongue or musculatures in the throat.

Biggest misconceptions about obstructive sleep apnea

It is a misconception that just because you do not have daytime symptoms of fatigue, excess sleepiness, or tiredness, you do not have sleep apnea. Even people with severe sleep apnea may not recognize any of the daytime symptoms and may, in fact, not have that at all. However, those with significant sleep apnea are at significant risk of cardiovascular complications.

How is sleep apnea diagnosed?

The first step is to do a sleep study, which helps to determine if sleep apnea is present and, if so, how severe it is. By doing a comprehensive upper airway examination, we can help identify potential sites where the narrowing is occurring to develop a treatment plan.

What are the treatments for sleep apnea?

Most adults with sleep apnea are typically treated first with CPAP, which stands for continuous positive airway pressure. It is a mask you wear at nighttime, but there are challenges to using the device as only about 50 to 60% of the patients who try it can tolerate it.

Why doesn’t CPAP work for some people?

Some of the reasons why a person may not want to use CPAP include discomfort, claustrophobia; they may have difficulty falling asleep with the device or have side effects from C-PAP usage including nasal congestion, sinus infections, or skin irritation. For others, they find that C-PAP is a significant barrier to lifestyle goals and wishes.

What are the alternatives to CPAP?

Some of the options available to patients with difficulty with CPAP may include addressing any nasal congestion they may have. So that nasal congestion is not a barrier. Some patients may benefit from the use of an oral appliance.  For others, they may require surgery.

One of the most important things to understand is that if you are struggling with CPAP or if you have not used it in many years, you must seek an evaluation that may include an ear, nose, and throat evaluation, and it is important to figure out if there are other options. There may or may not be room for surgery because it is not the right option for everybody. For some, it can offer significant relief, and they need to be assessed.

Get in touch with Smile Perfector Dental Group to connect with specialized ear, nose, and throat physicians, sleep medicine specialists, oral surgeons, dentists, and state-of-the-art resources available to help you manage your sleep apnea.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.