A variety of treatments are available for obstructive sleep apnea. Here are some of the most common and successful:
Most patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are in the mild to moderate categories, and can be treated with oral appliances. This is also the preferred method of treatment for patients who have severe sleep apnea but cannot tolerate the CPAP device. For patients who either do not want surgery, or who have had an unsuccessful procedure in the past, a noninvasive, plastic, intraoral appliance that can be worn at night is a good alternative.
Three types of appliances include a Soft Palatal Lift Appliance, a Tongue Retaining Device, and a Mandibular Repositioner. Within these categories, Dr. Rondeau specializes in the following appliances:
CPAP is the current gold standard utilized by the medical profession for the treatment of OSA. The CPAP device iis a tightly fitting nose mask that is strapped to the head and connected by a hose to an air compressor pump. Air is forced into the airway through the nasal passages in order to open it up and allow adequate room for normal breathing.
For patients with severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, the CPAP may be a literal life-saver. In cases of mild to moderate OSA, however, or in cases where patients refuse to wear the CPAP, oral appliances may be used instead.
Complaints about the use of the CPAP device include pump noise, skin irritations from the mask, headaches from the strap around the head, voice changes, nose and throat dryness, tinnitus, sinus infections, difficulty sleeping and difficulty breathing out against the air being forced through the nose.
Either procedure can be quite painful during the healing period. Following surgery, patients report voice changes and difficulty in swallowing their food. Nonetheless, patients should be informed of all their options prior to any treatment, whether surgical or nonsurgical.