Can You Cure Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that doctors cannot fully cure, except where the sole cause lies in lifestyle factors like smoking or excess body weight. However, physicians and dentists offer several viable treatment plans that can reduce your symptoms to a manageable level.
About Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is a highly common form of the disorder. While patients with this condition sleep, they experience repeated stops and starts in breathing.
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when throat muscles repeatedly relax during the night, blocking your airway and disturbing your sleep.
Signs of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
You may have sleep apnea if you exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- Loud snoring that disturbs others' sleep or your own
- Sleepiness during the day
- Choking or gasping upon waking
- Observed pauses in breathing during the night
- Difficulty in concentration during the day
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking
- Irritability or depression
Consult your physician or dentist if you show these symptoms. They can evaluate you for signs of the condition.
Possible Risks and Complications
Obstructive sleep apnea is much more serious than loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea keeps your body from receiving enough oxygen during sleep. The effects of oxygen debt can lead to many serious health conditions, including the following:
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Irregular heartbeat
- Type 2 diabetes
- Metabolic syndrome
- Complications from medical anesthesia
- Liver disease
- Falling asleep while performing daily tasks like driving
Available Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatments
Obstructive sleep apnea typically needs medical attention. Fortunately, dentists and physicians prescribe several treatment types for obstructive sleep apnea. If you explore these treatments, you may experience significant relief.
Sometimes, reversing lifestyle habits like smoking and excess weight can remove the cause of obstructive sleep apnea. Excess tissue in the throat may block the airway, and smoking may aggravate obstructive sleep apnea.
Quitting or losing weight may help you overcome the disorder's worst effects, but it will come back if you regain the weight or start smoking again.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Many dentists prescribe oral appliance therapy to treat obstructive sleep apnea. An oral appliance custom-fitted to your mouth helps your lower jaw stay forward during sleep, keeping the airway open.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
If these suggested lifestyle changes and oral appliance therapy are not enough to bring relief, many physicians recommend CPAP systems to use at night. CPAP provides a constant stream of air into the nose or mouth that keeps the airway from collapsing.
In cases where the above treatments do not work, surgical treatment may help.
Call Queen's Crown Dental
If you or your family members inform you that you have any of the symptoms in this article, you should consider receiving a sleep apnea evaluation. Please don't hesitate to call our Honolulu, HI, office at 808-526-2800 to make an appointment to discuss sleep apnea.