Some OSA patients are helped by oral appliances, devices that open the breathing passage by bringing the jaw or tongue forward or raising the soft palate. Patients with mild and moderate OSA may especially benefit by using an oral appliance, while severe OSA usually does not respond to this type of treatment. These devices sometimes cause excessive salivation, jaw pain, gagging or dental problems. Oral appliances should be fitted by qualified dental personnel.
Physical problems that interfere with breathing during sleep can sometimes be corrected surgically. These problems include: enlarged tonsils or adenoids (common in children), nasal polyps or other growths, a deviated nasal septum, or certain sizes and/or shapes of the face, jaw or soft palate.
Nasal operations alone that reduce nasal stuffiness may help snoring, but are usually not effective for OSA. However, nasal surgery may be one part of the overall plan for surgical treatment of OSA.
At Sleep Management Institute we do not perform these surgeries but can recommend a physician in the area to help you receive this treatment.
Positional sleep apnea is a type of sleep apnea that is dependent on the position that a person sleeps. In fact, people with positional sleep apnea may only experience clinical sleep apnea while sleeping on their back. An example of a positional sleep apnea treatment is the NIGHT SHIFT Sleep™ Positioner.
The NIGHT SHIFT™ is a clinically proven solution for patients with positional obstructive sleep apnea and snorers. Worn on the back of the neck, Night Shift begins to vibrate when the users start to back-sleep. The vibration slowly increases in intensity until the user changes positions.
Night Shift is also an intelligent, interactive monitor that measures sleep quality and the frequency of unhealthy loud snoring. An internet-based Report Portal enables users to monitor the effectiveness of the therapy and its improvements in sleep quality. To learn more click here to watch an informational video.
Many people who have sleep apnea are overweight. Small studies have shown that losing weight reduces the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that the airflow to your lungs is reduced (hypopnea). Experts agree that weight loss should be part of managing sleep apnea.
In mild cases of sleep apnea, conservative therapy may be all that is needed. Conservative approaches include:
- Losing weight
- Avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills
- Changing sleep positions to promote regular breathing
- Stop smoking. Smoking can increase the swelling in the upper airway which may worsen both snoring and apnea.
- Avoid sleeping on your back