Before starting any insomnia or sleep apnea treatments it is essential to have a comprehensive clinical exam evaluating the airway. It doesn’t make sense to treat the collapsing airway prior to a proper evaluation.
First line treatment for OSA is use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. CPAP machines work well for those who are able to tolerate their use. Unfortunately for many individuals, CPAPs may be uncomfortable and their use is abandoned out of frustration. Oral Appliance Therapy for mild to moderate patients can provide an alternative treatment.
CPAP Therapy requires wearing a mask on your face at night that blows air (positive pressure) through your nose to keep your airway from collapsing at night. This breathing machine is kept on all night and can require adding distilled water to humidify the air you breathe. CPAP machines are not custom made but prefabricated with a number of different mask to attach to the hoses.
Oral Appliance Therapy requires wearing a customize oral appliance resting on your dentition. This appliance serves to physiologically prevent the collapse of your airway by stabilizing your lower jaw, tongue, and soft palate. There are over 115 different variations of these customized appliances making a comprehensive evaluation paramount for selecting the best device for you. Oral appliance therapy can be very effective in treating patients who snore and those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea. Additionally, if severe sleep apnea patients are unable to tolerate a CPAP machine, they can be fitted with an appliance that positions the lower jaw and tongue to provide optimal airflow during sleep.