In recent years, sleep apnea has become nationally recognized as a very serious disorder and if left untreated can take up to 7 years off your life. With the right treatment, sleep apnea does not have to rule your life any longer!
The least invasive kind of treatment is oral appliance therapy (OAT). Dr. Koeppel will custom fit a painless appliance just for you that you will wear only at night. This appliance will be similar to a thin athletic mouth guard or an orthodontic appliance and will prevent your lower jaw from slipping back while your resting. This allows your airways to remain open and keeps you from snoring, and having apneic events.
A common type of therapy is the CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure. This treatment consists of a mask that is strapped to the patients face during the night, and is plugged into a machine that pumps air to the mask. Although considered the golden standard of care, patient compliance is very low. Patients have complained of discomfort of the face from the mask, physical embarrassment, rawness of the airway from constant airflow, and stomach bloating.
The most invasive type of treatment is surgery, and even with the most common form of surgery (UPPP), there is only a 40% success rate. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends all patients try OAT or CPAP before surgery. Surgery can include:
Tonsillectomy – Removal of Tonsils
Adenoidectomy – Removal of Adenoids
Uvulopalatopharyngoplasy (UPPP)– Removal of excess throat tissue to widen airway
Tongue Base Suspension
Enhancing your Lifestyle
We can enhance our lifestyles and our sleep by small changes we can make at home. May they be exercising, losing weight, or eating healthier. These changes may also include better bedtime habits and sleep hygiene. These can include not eating, drinking, reading, or playing cards in bed. Keeping your bedroom very dark, with things such as blackout shades and turning your alarm clock away from you can also help you sleep better.
We look forward to helping you on your way to a better nights sleep!