If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible. This dangerous condition, which results in repeated stoppages in breathing while you sleep, can lead to an increased risk of several serious health issues, such as:
- Heart attack
- Gastric reflux
- High blood pressure
- Cardiac arrhythmia
Fortunately, there are a variety of effective treatments for sleep apnea. This page will describe several of the most common treatment methods, but it cannot help you determine which option will work best in your particular case. Dr. Michael Chung will need to diagnose your condition in person in order to recommend the ideal sleep apnea treatment plan for you.
Please call 703-319-6990 today to schedule a consultation at our office in the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area.
If you only have a mild case of sleep apnea, you may be able to treat the condition using behavioral therapy. Dr. Chung may recommend one or more of the following minor lifestyle adjustments to help you keep your airway open and eliminate interruptions in your breathing while you sleep:
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Losing weight
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting the use of sleeping pills
- Changing sleeping positions (generally sleeping on your side instead of your back)
- Using extra pillows to elevate your head while you sleep
- Avoiding heavy meals close to bedtime
Oral Appliance Therapy
If your sleep apnea cannot be adequately treated by making these lifestyle adjustments, Dr. Chung may recommend oral appliance therapy. This treatment method uses a custom-fit device to prevent your airway from being obstructed while you sleep. Your oral appliance mouth guard will reposition the lower jaw, tongue, or soft palate in order to keep the soft tissue in your throat from collapsing. This should reduce snoring and alleviate other harmful sleep apnea symptoms.
Dr. Chung will use a mould of your mouth to customize your oral appliance, improving comfort and maximizing the effectiveness of your treatment.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) uses a machine to deliver air pressure to the nasal passages through a mask. This air flow helps keep your airway open while you sleep, preventing the breathing interruptions associated with sleep apnea.
While CPAP is considered one of the most effective sleep apnea treatments when used as directed, many patients experience a low compliance rate due to the inconvenience of wearing a mask over your nose and mouth every night. For this reason, Dr. Chung often recommends oral appliance therapy over CPAP.
Please contact Softouch Dental Care today by calling 703-319-6990 to schedule your sleep apnea consultation. Dr. Chung serves patients in Washington, D.C. and the Northern Virginia areas of Oakton, Fairfax, Reston, Alexandria, and Arlington.