Sleep apnea is a very serious medical condition. Individuals with sleep apnea usually experience stops in breathing while sleeping due to obstruction of their airway. Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition as it increases the risk of individuals developing secondary health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and others.
A common question among most people diagnosed with sleep apnea is if sleep apnea can go away without any treatment. To appropriately answer this question, we would consider the causes of sleep apnea to see if it can be resolved appropriately without the need for dental Downey service.
Causes Of Sleep Apnea
The collapse of any part of the airway from the nose to the lungs is one of the major causes of obstructive sleep apnea. Obstructions in the path of airflow, like in the case of a deviated nasal septum, can also cause sleep apnea. Over time, chronic snoring can cause swelling and narrowing of the airway and reduce the tone of the muscles that support the airway. This situation can be worsened by weight gain, especially with fat deposition around the neck.
Individuals who sleep on their back might have their tongues fall back into their airway while they sleep, causing an obstruction that can lead to sleep apnea. Alcohol use before sleep has also been shown to weaken the airway muscles and make them more prone to collapsing.
Can Sleep Apnea Go Away On Its Own?
Sleep apnea is a chronic condition and will not go away. This is because human anatomy is fixed, and any changes to anatomy resulting in sleep apnea usually remain fixed.
The good news is that there are treatments for sleep apnea among individuals of all ages. These treatments could include surgeries, modification of risk factors, and apparatus designed to manage sleep apnea.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
It is important to identify sleep apnea symptoms early as it can seriously affect a person’s daily life and productivity. Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Choking and gasping at night
- Anxiety and depression
- Daytime tiredness and sleepiness
- Morning headaches
- Problems concentrating during the day
- Erectile dysfunction
- Frequent urination at night
Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea
There is a wide range of treatments for sleep apnea. Your sleep apnea dentist will select a treatment plan based on the type of sleep apnea, its severity, and its root cause. Some of the common treatments for sleep apnea include:
- Use of assistive devices: Positive airway therapy is usually one of the first treatments used to manage sleep apnea. However, other dental appliances can also be used in milder cases of sleep apnea. Positive airway pressure devices have a mask covering the nose and mouth while delivering airflow to keep the airway open. The most common positive airway pressure therapy devices are the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and the Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP).
Other assistive devices are used to treat sleep apnea, mainly dental appliances or oral mandibular advancement devices. Most individuals prefer using dental appliances over positive airway pressure therapy as it is usually more affordable and less invasive.
- Lifestyle changes: Some lifestyle changes may be recommended to improve symptoms in individuals with mild sleep apnea. These changes could include weight loss, stopping alcohol intake, quitting smoking, switching to side sleeping, and using nasal sprays or breathing strips which can easily be purchased over-the-counter.
- Surgery: While surgery is not usually the most common option for sleep apnea treatment, it can be performed on individuals who do not respond to continuous positive airway pressure therapy and individuals with obstructions best addressed by surgery. Some common surgeries performed to treat sleep apnea include tonsillectomy, the surgical removal of the tonsils, somnoplasty, which reduces soft tissue in the uvula or palate using radiofrequency, and nasal surgery.
Other surgical procedures for sleep apnea are uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, maxillomandibular advancement, and hypoglossal nerve stimulator implantation surgery.
Even though sleep apnea does not go away on its own, there is a wide range of treatment plans that can be used to treat sleep apnea. If you want to know more about sleep apnea and its treatment, you should get in touch with sleep apnea dentistry today to find out the best dental in Downey treatment options available.