There are many treatments for obstructive sleep apnea available. Many doctors recommend continuous positive airway pressure as the preferred treatment option. However, some patients cannot tolerate CPAP machines or do not get adequate results from them, and patients with less severe apnea may not need such complex treatment. For these people, oral appliances can effectively…
Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?
There is one question many people ask after a sleep apnea diagnosis: Can sleep apnea be cured? In this article, you will discover the causative factors of sleep apnea, whether it can go away, and the risk factors that can be managed to improve the condition.
The causes of sleep apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues located on the air passages collapse while sleeping and disturbs breathing. Therefore, it is majorly due to the patient’s anatomy. An enlarged turbinate or deviated nasal septum may inhibit airflow. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a floppy soft palate, or oversized tongue can block the path of the tongue.
The lining of the air passages can also create an obstruction. Chronic snoring causes a vibration of the airway, and that can increase the swelling along the passage that further narrows the pathway. Soon enough, the nerve receptors may lose responsiveness, and the muscles may lose the tone required to maintain the air flow. Obesity, especially if it causes a large neck, may adversely affect the condition. Patients who lie on their back while sleeping may cause their tongue to collapse into the air passage, further aiding obstruction and sleep apnea. Drinking alcohol a few hours before sleeping can also make the muscles on the airways lose their tone. One has to consider all these factors when seeking a permanent solution to sleep apnea.
Can sleep apnea be cured?
In most cases, sleep apnea is a chronic illness that never goes away. Anatomical makeup tends to be unyielding, especially after adolescence has passed. Therefore, there may be hope for children with sleep apnea regarding successful and definitive treatment. Removing tonsils and adenoids may be helpful for children with sleep apnea. Treating allergies and expanding the hard palate with an orthodontic treatment called rapid maxillary expansion may also be beneficial. Once the patient has stopped growing, patients must consider other treatment choices.
Children past adolescent years and adults can consider surgical options for a lasting solution. The most effective is jaw advancement surgery. Also called maxilla-mandibular advancement, the surgery is practical and can resolve up to 80 percent of all cases of sleep apnea. The procedure involves surgically breaking the jaw bones, moving them forward, and fixing them into position with titanium screws and plates. This major surgery alters the facial profile, and recovery can last several months.
Other surgeries can also be done to change the anatomy, but they are generally less effective. However, some patients can help cure sleep apnea without surgery. If patients are overweight, shedding weight can play a significant role in correcting sleep apnea. Fat or adipose tissues can fill the air passage, causing a narrowing of the air passage and the risk of collapse. Patients can also improve the tone of the muscles lining the air path with targeted exercises.
Get more advice today
If you have additional questions about the treatment of sleep apnea, you can consult your general dentist to know which treatment options are available. Many effective treatments are available, even if the condition does not always go away on its own, you will be able to get sound sleep and live a healthy life.
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