Dr. Edwards' Blog
Tired? Didn't Get Enough Sleep? You Could Have OSA - Nov. 21, 2012
Obstructive sleep apnea, OSA, is a common sleep-related breathing disorder with public health implications. It's characterized by repetitive upper airway collapse during sleep. Several specific treatment options are effective, including a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, oral appliances (OA), surgery to reduce tissue in the throat and pharynx, tongue advancement or maxillomandibular advancement. CPAP is the criterion standard treatment, but its effectiveness varies greatly depending upon the patient's compliance. Wearing a mask and having air pushed in and pulled out of one's body during sleep isn't something many people enjoy and it can actually diminish sleep quality. Oral appliances offer a nice alternative to CPAP and have a higher effective use rate due to their simplicity.
Research by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine concluded that OA are less effective than CPAP but are a reasonable alternative in some situations for patients with mild to moderate OSA. Patients with severe OSA need to undergo a trial using CPAP before OA If a trial use of CPAP fails, surgery may be the preferred treatment. Predicting which patients will have a successful OA experience is difficult and remains an important clinical issue.
The most common obstructive sleep apnea symptoms include:
An oral appliance I often recommend has worked very well for some of my patients. Here's what one had to say about it:
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