If you're experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, the first step is being evaluated and diagnosed by an ENT with sleep apnea experience.
Don't worry -- we can help with that!
For those who have sleep apnea, the next step is treatment -- and we can help with that, too!
There are a variety of obstructive sleep apnea treatment options available, making it easy to find the option that best fits your diagnosis and your individual needs.
Here at The Rontal Clinic, we see many cases of sleep apnea, and the vast majority of them are obstructive sleep apnea. This version of sleep apnea is the most common because it involves the physical structures of the body, particularly the airway triangle - the nasal passages, the back of the throat, and the mouth.
One or all of these three areas can be obstructed, causing intermittent breathing throughout the night.
OSA Treatment: You Deserve Some Quality Shut-Eye
The treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) range from mouth guards and CPAP machines to surgery. There are a variety of treatment options to consider.
As a leading ENT center in Royal Oak, MI, and with a wealth of experience in treating OSA, we want our patients to be fully aware of all of their options. Armed with that knowledge, our treatment discussions are much more productive, allowing us to more effectively provide relief to our patients.
With that in mind, we're going to look at the various obstructive sleep apnea treatment options available today.
1. CPAP Machine
CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.
This machine uses a special mask - there are several varieties - in conjunction with a pump that provides continuous air pressure throughout the night. It pushes a steady stream of air through the mask worn by the patient, keeping the airway open throughout the night.
2. BiPAP Machine
A variation of CPAP, BiPAP stands for Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure.
Like a CPAP machine, the BiPAP provides a stream of air to keep the airways open throughout the night. However, unlike CPAP, BiPAP doesn't give continuous, constant pressure. Rather, BiPAP provides less pressure on the exhale.
This makes it an excellent option for those patients who find it difficult to exhale through the steady pressure of a CPAP machine.
3. VPAP Machine
VPAP stands for Variable Positive Airway Pressure.
This machine provides positive air pressure throughout the night, however, that pressure changes during various parts of the breathing process. This variable pressure aims to make breathing feel more natural while still providing the pressure needed to rectify obstructive sleep apnea.
4. Oral Appliances
While PAP machines are one of the most reliable obstructive sleep apnea treatment options available, not all patients can get used to the mask and hose apparatus.
Oral appliances, also called MADs - mandibular advancement devices - are mouthpieces designed to help sleep apnea by bringing the jaw forward, opening the airway.
There are other designs to hold the tongue in place, as well.
5. Upper Airway Stimulation
As a long-time ENT clinic providing sleep apnea treatment in Royal Oak, Michigan, we always keep our diagnostics and treatment options up to date with modern technology. Upper Airway Stimulation is an innovation in obstructive sleep apnea treatment that many patients have found success with.
Unlike other traditional methods, UAS requires no external apparatus. Rather, it works similarly to a pacemaker.
A small electrical device is implanted in the chest just below the skin and above the ribs. This device has an electrode connected to the nerve that controls the tongue. During the night, a small electrical charge stimulates the tongue to keep the airway clear.
Reserved for the most severe sleep apnea cases where other methods have proven ineffective, surgery is the last resort to help give patients relief.
The most common form of surgery to treat sleep apnea is called a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. This surgery removes the soft tissue from the back of the palate, sometimes removing the tonsils and uvula, as well. Although drastic, this procedure can help treat sleep apnea cases that have been otherwise impervious to treatment.
When Sleep Doesn't Feel Like Sleep, Come See Us!
From oral appliances to surgery (in severe cases), there are a variety of obstructive sleep apnea treatment options available. While all of these options are effective, they're not effective for everyone.
The key is finding the treatment option that will be effective for each individual patient. That involves diagnosing the cause and severity of sleep apnea, as well as discussing the patient's preferences for treatment options.
As an ENT center in Detroit, Michigan, and Royal Oak, Michigan, we've been helping clients find relief from their sleep apnea for decades.
If you're experiencing potential symptoms of sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with us today by calling our office at (248) 737-4030. We'll determine if you have sleep apnea and help you choose a treatment that's right for you.