5 Ways to Treat Snoring & Sleep Apnea
There are five ways to address your snoring and sleep apnea.
Observation. Observation may be an option if the snoring does not bother you or anyone else or you don’t have significant sleep apnea. An advantage to addressing your snoring early is that typically, as you advance in age, the laxity or sagginess of the back of your throat increases which worsens your snoring and often leads to sleep apnea.
Behavior Modification. This includes losing weight, avoiding sedatives and alcohol at night, sleeping on your side, and developing better sleep habits. All sleep apneic patients must try to reach their ideal weight. Weight loss is difficult when you have sleep apnea because you are tired and your metabolism is slowed. Addressing your sleep apnea typically results in weight loss. Dr. Pasha has a specific interest in nutrition and holistic medicine and in fact has an in-house dietitian to help his patients achieve their ideal weight. Alcohol and sedatives, including sleeping pills, are prohibited if you have significant sleep apnea to avoid suppressing your rescue gasp that allows you to catch your breath at night. If you are sedated, your oxygen may reach dangerously low levels, causing a heart attack or sudden death.
Breathing Machines: These machines are more commonly known as a Continuous or Constant Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine.
This apparatus prevents airway collapse by forcing air through your nose and mouth. CPAP machines have a high rate of success for those who use them. CPAP machines can be cumbersome, inconvenient, and may not be tolerated because of claustrophobia. Dr. Pasha prefers to use the “smart” machines so that he may read data remotely to see how you are doing with the machine at night. If you choose to use a CPAP machine, Dr. Pasha will help you stay compliant with your machine by monitoring your usage, adjusting your pressures, and adjusting your masks. Dr. Pasha may also perform minor procedures in the office or in the operating room so that you can better tolerate the machine or lower your pressures. Many times, sleep centers place everyone on CPAP machines without alternatives. CPAP machines do not address the underlying cause of the collapse of the airway at night.
[Related: Why does Snoring Happen?]
In-Office and Surgical Procedures. Dr. Pasha has performed well over 4,000 procedures for sleep apnea/snoring and considers it an art. After a detailed physical examination, Dr. Pasha may offer a long-term procedure specific for you. Philosophically, our center focuses on the least invasive technique with the most effective outcome. For some this may mean a 20-minute procedure that can be performed in the office under local anesthesia. For others it may require a more advanced surgical technique. Since Dr. Pasha has been focused on sleep apnea procedures since 2001, he has performed most available from the use of robotics to less invasive in-office procedures. Dr. Pasha also commonly evaluates those who had a prior failed procedure and specializes in revision techniques.
Dental or Oral Appliances. Dr. Pasha’s office has been delivering various generations of dental appliances to 1000’s of patients since 2005. He has a tremendous amount of experience determining who would be successful with an appliance as an alternative to a CPAP machine. Initially, Dr. Pasha would carve out the appliances by hand but now offers state-or-the-art digitally scanned 3D printed dental appliances.