Sleep Apnea Treatment
Based on what your doctor prescribes, there are a few treatment options for those with sleep apnea. If you have a mild case of sleep apnea, all you may need to do is to:
- Lose weight
- Avoid alcohol and sleeping pills
- Change sleep positions to promote regular breathing
- Quit smoking
- Avoid sleeping on your back
For those with a more serious case of apnea, it may be necessary to use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine while you sleep.
This sleep apnea machine consists of a mask, which is worn over the nose and/or mouth while you sleep. The mask is hooked up to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air into the nostrils. The positive pressure from air flowing into the nostrils helps keep the airways open so that breathing is not impaired. CPAP is considered by many experts to be the most effective treatment for sleep apnea.
Dental devices can be made that help keep the airway open during sleep by bringing the lower jaw forward slightly. This sleep apnea mouthpiece is specifically designed by dentists with special expertise in treating sleep apnea.
If you have a deviated nasal septum, markedly enlarged tonsils, or a small lower jaw with an overbite, you may require surgery for sleep apnea.