First you should consult your primary care provider or a sleep specialist for evaluation to see if your symptoms could be caused by Sleep Apnea. If Sleep Apnea is confirmed, the primary treatment option is likely to be an air pressure machine (CPAP) or a custom made oral device. Various surgeries are also an option and the most common involves removal of soft tissue at the back part of the palate.
Most patients are started on the CPAP machines because they are effective and can be tested at the time of an initial sleep study in a sleep center. Unfortunately the CPAP machines cannot be tolerated by up to 50% of apnea sufferers, so in recent years oral devices have been developed and have proven to be another successful means for treatment of Sleep Apnea.
These custom made oral devices are comfortable and fully adjustable. They are the simplest and easiest way to hold the lower jaw and tongue in a slightly forward position to keep the airway open, and only your dentist can provide and properly adjust these devices. As recommended by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine they are a primary treatment option for mild to moderate Sleep Apnea, and are indicated for all patients with severe apnea who cannot tolerate the CPAP. Since apnea is a serious medical problem the oral device is covered by most medical insurance policies.
It has been conclusively proven that being overweight can be a direct contributing cause of apnea and that weight loss is proven to help reduce the serious medical effects of apnea. If you know that you are overweight it is important that weight reduction be a part of any treatment plan.
If you can’t tolerate CPAP, Dr. Shulman has a treatment option to help you sleep like this!