For some sleep apnea patients, lifestyle changes are enough to put a halt to sleep apnea symptoms.
Obesity is often a contributing factor in sleep apnea. Larger people often carry additional weight around their neck and jaw which can lead to aggravating sleep apnea symptoms. By reaching and maintaining an ideal weight, some patients have gained relief from sleep apnea.
Smoking is also a contributing factor to sleep apnea. Some patients see relief from their sleep apnea after they quit smoking.
Avoid drugs and alcohol:
Alcohol and certain drugs relax the central nervous system. When the central nervous system becomes too relaxed, sleep apnea can result.
Sleep Positioning Therapy:
Sleep positioning therapy can be helpful for some patients with mild to moderate sleep apnea. Most patients experience their worst sleep apnea symptoms when sleeping on their back. So, the theory behind position therapy is simple – avoid apnea episodes by sleeping in a new position. Position therapy generally involves a special brace or pillow to help patients sleep in a position that’s less likely to result in sleep apnea episodes.
Fitted mouthpieces for sleep apnea are best for patients with mild or moderate sleep apnea. These devices prevent sleep apnea episodes by lowering the jaw and keeping the airway open during sleep. Mouthpieces are met with varying degrees of success. Unfortunately, most patients don’t see long term results from oral positioning devices.
Surgery is yet another alternative to being tethered to a CPAP device. There are a handful of surgical options available – the minor surgeries are often unsuccessful. However, some patients do see lasting results from more dramatic surgical options.
Minor surgical options include:
Trimming of the soft palate and uvula
Removal of nasal polyps or turbinates
Repair of Deviated Septum
Maxillomandibular Advancement has a high success rate as an alternative to a CPAP but requires major surgery. Maxillomandibular Advancement requires fracturing both the upper and lower jaws and moving them forward to create a bigger airway.
Finally, we come to NightLase – an effective and relatively painless CPAP alternative. NightLase is a laser technique that strengthens oral tissue keeping the airway open while you sleep.
NightLase is performed over four 30 minute sessions. No anesthetic is required and patients are immediately able to return to work and normal activities as soon as their appointment has ended. While the course of the treatment is 12 weeks, most patients see immediate results after their first session.
We highly recommend looking into NightLase as a safe, fast, effective means of controlling your sleep apnea without a CPAP.