Are you sick of hearing your partner complain about how loud you snore? You may have tried every nose strip you could find at your local pharmacy, but somehow – you’re still keeping the whole house awake! How is this possible? Your snoring could be stemming from something other than congestion. In fact, if it’s persistently loud, it’s likely a sleep disorder known as, sleep apnea. Since sleep apnea symptoms are generally broad and you experience majority of them while unconscious, the disorder can be extremely difficult to diagnose. A sleep study is the best way to reach a diagnosis, but afterwards, exploring your treatment options may be more complex.
Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) Machines
You’re probably already familiar with their name as CPAP machines are the most common form of treatment for sleep apnea. It uses a mask (placed over your nose and mouth) to administer the air pressure, encouraging your airway to remain open regardless of any muscle relaxation. While many patients do benefit from the machine, it does require a significant adjustment before they’re able to sleep comfortably.
As awareness about oral appliance therapy increases, it’s becoming an increasingly popular treatment for sleep apnea. Instead of providing air pressure to help keep your airway open, oral appliances gently shift your jaw forward to increase the size of your airway – making it difficult for your muscles to relax and obstruct your oxygen intake. Since oral appliances are always custom-made for each patient, they have proven to be a much more comfortable treatment option.
If you think you could be suffering from a lack of oxygen during your sleep, consulting with your doctor is the first step to reaching a diagnosis. Don’t hesitate – the longer you go without treatment, you’re putting your health at risk for other complications.