Sleep positioning therapy
Occasionally effective for patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea, positioning therapy trains patients to sleep on their side. Most patients experience episodes of sleep apnea when resting on their backs. The purpose of sleep therapy is correcting sleep positions that tend to cause apnea. Few patients find this method a sufficient means of managing their sleep apnea.
Mouthguards may help some patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Specially crafted mouthpieces position the jaw to keep the airway open as the patient sleeps. Some patients see relief from this approach, while others see improvement in their sleep apnea symptoms for only a few weeks or months.
Surgical options for sleep apnea range from relatively minor operations to highly invasive procedures.
Less invasive operations like tonsil and adenoid removal and tongue reduction surgery have been met with only mild success at best. Drastic surgeries like mandibular repositioning surgery have a much higher success rate. Unfortunately, these surgeries are highly invasive and can have a 3-6 week recovery period.
NightLase is one of the most promising alternatives to a CPAP. A relative newcomer, NightLase is a laser therapy designed to strengthen the tissue around airways to prevent their collapse during sleep. NightLase is performed in-office and patients experience only minimal discomfort during treatment. Treatment consists of four 30 minute sessions for 12 weeks. Suitable NightLase patients experience effective long term relief from sleep apnea symptoms upon completion of their NightLase therapy.