Sleep apnea is a treatable condition. The goals of therapy are to both improve quality of life as well as to reduce strain on the heart to avoid long term complications.
Almost all patients with sleep apnea can be managed effectively. Treatment can be life changing by improving the quality of sleep and restoring energy during the day.
There is no one solution that works for everyone. We offer multiple modalities to accomplish the above goals.
CPAP therapy remains the most effective treatment and a good place to start. We add a little air pressure to keep the airway from collapsing. This is delivered by a device that sits on the bedside table. It is about the size and shape of a clock radio. This blower is attached to the patient with an air hose and a small mask, which typically fits over the nose.
CPAP therapy does take some getting used to. Obstacles are encountered initially, such as mask fit and pressure desensitization. Our practice is unique in helping patients through this transitional phase. It is not uncommon to require some tweaking of the mask type and/or size, especially in the 1st 30 days. In our experience, about 80% of patients do extremely well with CPAP, when appropriate compliance support is available.
There are several alternative options also available for patients who are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy.
Those with mild to moderately severe sleep apnea, often respond well to an oral (or dental) appliance. This is a mouth piece that can be molded by a qualified dentist or orthodontist. The device opens the airway by pulling the lower jaw forward (together with the base of the tongue.)
Inspire (also known as glossopharyngeal nerve stimulation) is an excellent choice for patients with moderate to severe sleep apnea, who have failed on CPAP. This is a new therapy, which was approved in 2015. It is unique in that it does not involve a mask, a mouthpiece or any upper airway surgery. It does involve an implant, which gently stimulates a nerve to open the airway during sleep.