Sunday, February 4, 2007

Non-surgical sleep apnea cures: oral appliances

Oral (or dental) appliances belong to non-surgical and conservative sleep apnea cures. Consequently, their effectiveness is very much dependable on the patient. For some it can be a very good sleep apnea cure, for others it can be of no help.

How do they work? Well, oral appliances are used to move the jaw forward or hold the mouth open preventing closure of the airway. You wear them during your sleep. They are often made of soft plastic and fit over your teeth. You will need to go to the dentist to shape them properly. Some oral appliances are made in the way that you can mold them to fit your mouth at home.

Oral appliances are considered to be an excellent mild and moderate sleep apnea cure. They are also used to treat patients suffering from bruxism and some other sleeping disorders. Oral appliances are small and portable and, as I have already said, they don’t require surgery. Though you should be careful while using them as oral appliances can cause temporomandibular joint disfunction. It happens when the jaw is pulled too far forward resulting in pain in joints while eating. Therefore, it is highly recommended to have a dentist or oral surgeon to fit and adjust your oral appliance.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Surgery and other sleep apnea cures

Howdy! In today's post I'll tell you about upper airways surgery as a sleep apnea cure. There are various nasal, throat, and jaw types of surgery. The fact is that they can help some but not all people with sleep apnea or snoring. More than that, there are better sleep apnea cures that should be considered first. Among them there are: medications, weight loss, change of sleep position, avoidance of alcohol and smoking before sleep, oral appliances. The most common sleep apnea cure for most people with obstructive sleep apnea is CPAP that I talked about last time. For some people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea these options will not work. Generally speaking, these people have a physical abnormality that is blocking their upper airways. In these cases surgery may be the only choice as it reduces or eliminate the tissue in the throat.

Upper airway surgery is site-specific and depending on the cause of obstruction it focuses on the soft palate, the uvula, tonsils, adenoids or the tongue. There are also more complex surgeries that are performed with the adjustment of other bone structures - the mouth, nose and facial bones.

There is no guarantee that this sleep apnea cure will solve your problem at once as more than one operation may be needed. There are also several side effects such as overnight hospital stay, pain, having the jaws wired shut (for several weeks), swelling throat, etc. Moreover, surgery as a sleep apnea cure may not be permanent and the problem may reoccur in course of time.

As I have already said that it is highly recommended to consider other possible sleep apnea cures first. Anyways, you should consult with an Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon to find out if this is the best option for you.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The most effective sleep apnea cure or CPAP

So today I'm gonna tell you a few words about nCPAP or just CPAP. It stands for (nasal) continuous positive airway pressure. As you sleep CPAP provides you with a steady stream of air keeping your airway open. The fact is that CPAP is considered to be the most effective sleep apnea cure.

Sleep apnea cureCPAP unit is about the size of a small box (some units are as small as 6 or 7 inches in length and weight 2 or 3 pounds). It has a fan that pushes air through a tube, connected to a mask that you wear as you sleep. Through this mask the air blows into the back of your throat what keeps the airway open and prevents cessation of breathing during your sleep. As simple as that! That's how the most effective sleep apnea cure works.

There are three kinds of masks used in CPAP:

- nasal mask (the most common one, it covers only your nose),
- full face mask (this type of mask may help if you have air leaks when using a nasal as it covers both your nose and your mouth),
- nasal pillows (soft silicone tubes that fit directly into your nostrils).

Of course, you should consult with your doctor about the type and size of the mask but the most important thing about it is that it should fit you well in order to prevent leaks without causing discomfort.

Many people use CPAP and find that this sleep apnea cure is the solution of their snoring and night breathing problems.