How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?
In cases of mild obstructive sleep apnea, making simple lifestyle changes, like losing weight, changing sleep position or quitting smoking, can help reduce symptoms. However, depending on the severity of the sleep apnea, a more serious treatment option may be considered. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends oral appliance therapy, available with Dr. Ivan F. Stein of New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions, for mild to moderate sleep apnea, and for select cases of severe sleep apnea when a CPAP is not tolerated. For the most severe cases, surgical treatment may be necessary.
A widely used treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea is the CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine. The mask, which is worn over the nose (and sometimes the mouth, too) delivers a continual flow of pressurized air into the throat as you sleep. The air pressure keeps the upper airway passage open, preventing cessations in breath, gasping, choking and snoring.
However, CPAP machines have been criticized as uncomfortable and disruptive. The apparatus is bulky and the air pump is noisy, which can make it difficult to get a good night’s rest. It is difficult to keep the mask in place during sleep.
If you have tried a CPAP machine and disliked it, or if it failed to work for you, a great alternative option is oral appliance therapy. At New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions, Dr. Stein offers many different oral appliances, and works closely with the patient to select the one most appropriate for their needs. New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions features Oravan from OravanOSA for its comfort, ease of use and high rate of effectiveness.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oravan is an FDA-cleared patented oral appliance designed for the simple and effective treatment of sleep apnea. It was invented by Dr. Stein, and has become one of the most sought-after oral appliances available today. Each Oravan device is custom-made according to the individual patient’s specifications in an FDA-approved laboratory with premium-grade materials. Most health insurance plans cover the Oravan.
The Oravan is a mandibular-repositioning device (MRD) that keeps the airway clear of obstruction for easy breathing. Worn during sleep, the appliance repositions and holds the lower jaw in a forward position to maintain an open airway.
The appliance is small, non-invasive and comfortable to wear. It clips on over the teeth and gives patients full range of oral motion and the freedom to speak, yawn and smile easily. Also, the size of the appliance makes it convenient for traveling.
Dr. Stein’s sleep apnea patients have found wonderful results with the Oravan appliance. Clinical studies show that 92 percent of patients continue using their Oravan device after a year of use, which is a tremendous testament to its ease-of-use.
If other sleep apnea treatments have failed, surgery is an option. The goal of surgery is to remove whatever is blocking the upper air passages and enlarge the airway. It may be challenging to identify the specific portion of the airway that is obstructing clear airflow.
There are many sleep apnea surgical procedures, each tailored to the area of the obstruction in the individual patient, depending on the anatomical structure causing the problem.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty: removes excess tissue from the soft palate and the pharynx. The tonsils may be removed, too.
- Jaw repositioning (a.k.a., maxillomandibular advancement): shifts the upper and lower jaw forward to enlarge the space between the tongue and soft palate.
- Nasal surgery: straightens the septum and reduces the size of the turbinates to create more room in the nose for smooth air passage.
- Soft palate implants: places polyester rods into the soft palate to stiffen it. This makes the soft palate less likely to make contact with the back wall of the pharynx during sleep.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep with Oral Appliance Therapy
To learn more about sleep apnea treatment options and find the right fit for you, please contact New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions. Contact us today at (855) WHY-SNORE or (855) 949-7667 to schedule an appointment with our team.