Getting enough sleep is very important. Sleeping helps the body boost its immunity, and also, the body gets time to eliminate toxins that accumulate when you are active. Adults require about 8 hours of quality sleep, while newborns require up to 17 hours. However, quality of sleep may be interfered with by a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea Disorder
Sleep quality may be interfered with by a condition known as sleep apnea caused by airway blockage or a problem with the nervous system. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where breathing stops temporarily and then resumes several times within your sleeping period. Sleep apnea may cause loud snoring but not all people with sleep apnea snore. Your doctor may evaluate you based on your symptoms, sleeping history, or signs. For further evaluation, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist at a sleep disorder center.
Treatments for Sleep Apnea
1. Mandibular Advancement Devices Treatment
Mandibular advancement device (MAD), also known as mandibular repositioning device (MRD), helps people with obstructive sleep apnea or snoring problems. A specialist in sleeping and an oral surgeon may decide to use oral appliances to keep the tongue from blocking the throat. The oral appliances prepared by your oral surgeon keep the airway open during sleep. It works by allowing the tongue and jaw to temporarily prevent blockage of the airway, thus stopping snoring and sleep apnea. Patients who find CPAP challenging to use prefer MAD devices. Some patients may also like mandibular advancement devices because they are easily portable.
Your doctor may prefer surgery to treat the sleep apnea disorder. Surgery is the first option for some people with jaw structure problems. Your oral surgeon will suggest the best surgical option for you. There are several surgical options that your oral surgeon can use to rectify the sleep apnea disorder. Surgery may also is helpful to people who snore but do not have a sleep disorder—types of surgery that your oral surgeon may use to treat sleep apnea include;
- Tissue removal
- Tissue shrinkage
- Jaw repositioning
- Surgical implants
- Inserting nerve stimulator
3. Positive Airway Pressure (PAP)Therapy
PAP therapy involves the patient wearing a gas mask over the nose or the mouth. The gas mask connects to a blower that forces air through the airway with just enough pressure to ensure the airway doesn’t collapse while asleep. However, sleep apnea may resume when you remove PAP or when improperly used. There are different types of Positive Pressure Airway(PAP) devices for specific patients’ needs.
· Continuous PAP (CPAP)
With continuous positive airflow pressure, the machine is set at single steady air pressure and sends a constant flow of oxygenated air through an air filter and tube to a mask sealed at your nose. The air forces through blockages to keep your airway open and help you breathe normally.
· Auto CPAP Machine
An automatic positive airflow pressure machine automatically adjusts air pressure according to the pressure changes due to your sleeping position or any other cause.
· Bi-Level PAP
Unlike CPAP, a bi-level positive airflow pressure machine has two settings of pressure for inhaling and exhaling. Patients who find CPAP uncomfortable prefer using bi-level PAP. Bi-level PAP may also come with a backup respiratory rate that helps initiate breathing for central sleep apnea disorder patients.
4. Adaptive Servo-Ventilation
Adaptive servo-ventilation helps patients with central sleep apnea disorderbreathe normally, easing off the sleep apnea disorder.
Sleep interruptions may negatively affect your overall health. However, if you have sleep apnea, you can enjoy your sleep again with the help of a sleep specialist and an oral surgeon. They will help keep your throat open for proper breathing and ensure appropriateoxygen levels in the blood and ultimately in the brain. Visit your doctor and have a restful night’s sleep.