Over 18 million Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Approximately 90% of all people with OSA go undiagnosed and untreated. Signs of sleep apnea include; snoring, gasping or chocking during sleep, fatigue, high blood pressure, bruxism and many more. If sleep apnea goes untreated there will be possible increased risk for heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure and fatigue-related motor vehicle and work accidents.
CPAP is a machine that treats obstructive sleep apnea by providing a flow of positive-pressure air through a mask to splint the airway open during sleep.
An oral appliance is a small device that's very similar to a orthodontic retainer. It's worn in the mouth while sleeping to help prevent soft throat tissue from collapsing and obstructing the airway. Some of the devices hold the lower jaw forward during sleep, while other appliances directly affect tongue position.
Surgical Interventions- the 3 most common surgical procedures include:
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty widens the throat and air passageway by removing extra tissue, Radiofrequency palatoplasty uses an electrical current directed at the tissue, causing it to stiffen. With the tissue firmer, it is less likely to vibrate while breathing and the Pillar procedure which is a minimally invasive procedure that uses small polyester implants that are placed in the soft palate, providing structural support for the tissue.
Any treatment should include weight loss if needed, exercise, and avoidance of alcohol, sedatives and hypnotics.