Treatment for Snoring & Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)
Who should be treated?
The decision about whether you need treatment must be made in consultation with your doctor. Obviously if you suffer from the classic symptoms of sleep apnoea with daytime sleepiness and alterations in your mental function or personality, then treatment will be of great importance to you. But some people with sleep apnoea are surprisingly unaware or free of symptoms.
Even asymptomatic patients may be at risk for the cardiovascular complications of obstructive sleep apnoea. You may be at risk of developing hypertension or other medical complications, even if you do not have severe apnoea or marked drops in oxygen levels at night. The decision should therefore be based on both symptoms and signs of sleep apnoea after review with your physician.
Medical Treatment Options
Sometimes relatively simple measures can help sleep apnoea. Some patients may only have apnoeic episodes when sleeping on their backs. If they can stay on their side apnoea may be reduced or eliminated. Unfortunately this is more difficult to achieve than it would seem. One suggestion has been to sew something such as a tennis ball into the back of the pyjama top. In addition to the lateral position, elevation of the head of the bed by about 30° will also substantially decrease apnoea in some patients.
The severity of obstructive sleep apnoea is also related to weight in many though not all patients. Even modest weight loss may significantly decrease apnoea. In general a 10-15% weight loss will decrease the severity of apnoea by half.
Most agents that cause sedation will somewhat worsen OSA. Clearly, however, alcohol is the most important. Alcohol results in a decrease in upper airway tone and often leads to marked worsening of OSA. Avoidance or at least decreasing the amount of alcohol, especially close to bedtime, is of great importance in managing sleep apnoea medically. If the patient is on treatment such as CPAP, then modest amounts of alcohol may be better tolerated.
Hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone)
Untreated hypothyroidism has been associated with OSA. This may be due to the body changes, the size of the thyroid gland or the effects of low thyroid hormone on breathing pattern. Treatment may help, but usually the improvement is not enough to completely treat OSA and eliminate the need for other treatment.
Oral Appliance Therapy for Snoring & OSA
An oral appliance is a device worn in the mouth only during sleep. The device fits similar to a sports mouth guard or orthodontic retainer and prevents the airway from collapsing by either supporting the tongue or jaw in a forward position, thereby opening the airway.
With a custom fitted oral appliance, we can help minimise or eliminate the symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing. Sleep apnoea (in mild to moderate cases) including loud snoring, gasping and unpleasant noises.
The device can also act as an alternative treatment for patients (on medical advice only) who have been prescribed CPAP by their medical consultant, finding it difficult to adhere to this therapy for management of their sleep apnoea condition.
Oral appliances hold the lower jaw in a forward position, dilates the upper airway and preventing it from collapsing. This helps to:
- eliminate or reduce snoring noise levels
- improve sleep quality and general energy levels on wakening
- treat sleep apnoea disease progression
- improves bed partners sleep quality of life.
Oral Appliance Therapy changes peoples lives. Contact the Beacon Dental Clinic today for more information
Beacon Dental Clinic, Beacon Consultants Clinic, Dublin, D18 E7P4, Ireland
Tel: +353 1 213 5644 | Fax: +353 1 213 5645 | Email: email@example.com