Often, for both you and your bed partner, even more disruptive to good sleep than snoring alone is the condition of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which in addition to sleep deprivation, puts real strain on your heart.
Sleep apnea—moments of time when you’re not breathing at all—can be frightening for your bed partner who is awake and hearing you stop breathing every few minutes before suddenly gasping for air. This condition is a very real medical condition that requires treatment to prevent negative long-term health problems.
Effective remedies available today for sleep-disordered breathing like OSA are light years beyond what was available just a few years ago. No longer is the list of treatments limited exclusively to major surgery with long healing times, or to nightly use of a noisy, cumbersome CPAP device which can make your compliance as a patient challenging, to say the least.
The most popular FDA-approved treatment for snoring and mild to moderate sleep apnea is the Pillar® Procedure made available by Pillar Palatal. If you have severe OSA, as documented by an official sleep study, Pillar® still may be successful in helping you, but also be prepared that you may need more invasive treatment to achieve the greatest outcome for your condition.
Oral Appliances to Treat Sleep Apnea
Today’s array of minimally invasive treatments includes devices as simple as oral appliances called mandibular repositioning devices. As an introduction to this type of device, you may consider trying a take-home device such as the PureSleep® device.
However, a more comprehensive evaluation by a dentist, who specializes in Sleep Dentistry, to design and fashion a custom-made mandibular repositioning device adjusted for your individual anatomic needs is often required.
What if Pillar® Isn’t Right for Me?
If your sleep apnea condition is so severe that you require more invasive treatment, the likely options are:
- Tongue Base or Hyoid Suspension
Whatever you do, don’t ignore your OSA. Left untreated, OSA may lead to heart disease, heart attack, stroke or death.