Snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can have similar treatments because the cause is the same—partial or complete collapse of the airway. Treatment is focused on prevention of that collapse.
Continuous positive air pressure, or CPAP, treatment is typically used for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA as it is often called. This therapy delivers pressurized air by means of a mask or nasal cushions. This opens the airway like puffing into a balloon. There are a number of variations on this therapy such as bi-PAP and auto-PAP which fine tune the delivery of air according to the patient’s needs. The air passes through a humidifier providing more comfort to the patient. Many patients have excellent results with this therapy and significantly improve their quality of life.
Oral appliance therapy, or OAT, is appropriate for patients with snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) who cannot tolerate CPAP or prefer an alternative to CPAP. These services are performed by a dentist with special training in treating OSA. Mandibular advancement appliances are custom made devices with an upper and lower mouthpiece joined by some adjustable means to properly ensure the appliance is optimized to control OSA. The appliance works by holding the lower jaw in a forward position preventing the collapse of the tongue and soft tissues in the back of the throat, keeping the airway open during sleep.
There are many types of oral appliances available to treat snoring and sleep apnea and selection of the most appropriate one can be made by Dr. Farquhar during a consultation exam.
These appliances do not work for everyone, however an in-home Matrx Plus study can determine if oral appliance therapy is right for you BEFORE you commit to treatment.
There are a number of surgical options to help control snoring and sleep apnea such as tonsillectomy, soft palate reduction, nasal surgery and a variety of other options. These are usually reserved for when other options have failed. These procedures are performed by an otolaryngologist or a maxillofacial surgeon.
This refers to such things as avoidance of alcohol near bedtime, losing weight, changing your sleeping position and smoking cessation.