March 8, 2019
Sleep apnea in Melbourne is a serious but highly treatable condition. Still, if you have sleep apnea, you may be curious as to whether you will always need treatment for it. Will it ever go away? Well, that depends. Let’s talk about some of the causes behind sleep apnea and discuss the steps you may be able to take to reduce its severity — or perhaps make it disappear altogether.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea: An Anatomical Problem
Obstructive sleep apnea in Melbourne can have any of a number of anatomical causes. A deviated nasal septum, a large tongue or tonsils, or an improperly aligned jaw can all contribute to airway blockage at night. After a person reaches physical maturity, their anatomy is fixed; therefore, while children with sleep apnea might grow out of it, adults will not.
However, that doesn’t mean you’re without hope for a permanent solution to sleep apnea. There are a few types of surgery, such as corrective jaw surgery, that have been shown to be effective in allowing easier airflow during sleep.
Fighting Sleep Apnea
You may not want to undergo surgery to fight your sleep apnea, and that’s entirely understandable. The good news is that their may be other things you can do to fight your condition. You won’t change your underlying anatomical structures, but it’s possible that you can drastically reduce or even eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms. Here are some suggestions that you may find useful:
- Do not sleep on your back. When you sleep on your back, your tongue is more likely to cause airway blockage.
- Lose some weight. Obesity, especially when it leads to a large neck circumference, can worsen sleep apnea.
- Don’t drink alcohol right before bed. Alcohol causes your muscles to relax, which can increase the risk of snoring and sleep apnea.
- Exercise. Certain breathing and tongue exercises can strengthen the muscles that otherwise collapse during sleep. A myofunctional therapy expert may be able to coach you on how to perform these exercises.
- Fight allergies. Allergies cause inflammation in the airways, which can lead to nighttime breathing problems. Your doctor may help you find a medication that relieves your allergies. Or, if you know what you are allergic to (for example, dust or pet dander), you may be able to avoid those allergens altogether.
Oral Appliance Therapy Provides an Elegant Solution
The abovementioned tips can do much to improve your sleep apnea, but they aren’t always enough. A healthy lifestyle, along with the regular use of a special oral appliance, can ensure that you breathe easily every night. Such an appliance is tailor-made to adjust your jaw at night so air can flow freely. A dental sleep medicine expert can provide you with one.
Your sleep apnea might not ever go away completely, but you can fight your symptoms and enjoy restful nights for the rest of your life.
About the Author
Dr. Kenneth Mogell is a dental sleep medicine expert who provides oral sleep appliances to residents of Melbourne and the surrounding areas. If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea or how Dr. Mogell may be able to help you discover more restful nights, contact us today.
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