Solutions for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Good sleep hygiene, weight loss and exercise are helpful obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatments a patient can practice on their own. Medical and dental treatments include oral appliance therapy, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and surgery.
Patients that cannot tolerate or refuse to use bulky CPAP devices now have a non-surgical alternative. Herbst Oral appliances, worn during sleep, are similar to orthodontic retainers or sports mouth guards. The job of the appliance is to prevent the obstruction which occurs when the lower jaw, tongue and tissues in the back of the throat become relaxed during sleep and collapse into the narrow airway space.
Oral appliances are small, convenient and easy to carry when traveling and require no electricity. They are bed partner-approved, discreet, quiet, easy to clean, low-maintenance and denture-friendly.
Oral appliances are indicated for use in patients with mild to moderate OSA or those with severe OSA that cannot use CPAP. They may be used alone or in combination with other means of treating OSA. They reposition the lower jaw, tongue, soft palate and uvula, and stabilize the lower jaw and tongue, thus increasing the muscle tone of the tongue.
Ongoing care, including short-term and long-term follow-up to assess the treatment of the sleep disorder, the condition of the appliance, physical response to the appliance, ensuring that it is comfortable and effective is an essential step in the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with oral appliance therapy.
Natural Awakenings readers receive a free sleep apnea test ($165 value) from Koala Center for Sleep Disorders—Biltmore. Location: 4235 N. 32 St., Phoenix. For appointments, call 602-883-1931. For more information, visit KoalaAz.com.