Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when the airway is blocked during sleep, causing labored breathing and snoring. Sleep apnea can also affect your energy levels during the day and your ability to pay attention in school or at work.
Positional Obstructive Sleep Apnea (POSA) occurs when sleep apnea is worsened by the position you are sleeping in. When you sleep on your back, gravity causes your jaw and tongue to fall back in your mouth and block your airway. This condition should be properly diagnosed by a doctor through a sleep study. Depending on the severity of your case of POSA, there are treatment options to help alleviate the symptoms and have a more restful night’s sleep.
Change Your Sleeping Position
This may seem obvious, but if the position you are sleeping in is making your sleep apnea worse, that is a good place to start! If you naturally sleep on your back, try using pillows or foam wedges to help keep you on your side.
Another treatment option for mild to moderate sleep apnea cases is an oral appliance. These appliances help keep the airway from collapsing by physically working in your mouth to stabilize the jaw and adjust the position of your tongue and soft palate. There is a huge variety of oral appliances on the market, so it is important to have a consultation with a doctor to figure out which appliance is best for you.
In more extreme cases, using a CPAP at night may be necessary. CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machines involve wearing a mask attached to the machine throughout the night. The mask blows air to create positive pressure, which keeps your airway from collapsing while you sleep.
In the most severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may be necessary if less invasive methods are not effective. If it comes to this, your sleep doctor can recommend you for surgical treatment. At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre, we have a great bank of surgeons that we recommend our patients to so that they can get the best care and relief from their sleep apnea symptoms.
Our Holistic Approach
At TMJ & Sleep Centre, we tailor all of our treatments specifically for each patient. We also look at our patients’ overall health and how health plays in to the issues they are experiencing. In order to best diagnose and treat our patients, we look at diet, physical activity, and more to make sure our patients are living their healthiest lives!
If you are suffering from POSA or another sleep disorder, visit our website or give us a call so you can reclaim your sleep and your life!