Sleep apnea treatments were once limited to a handful of options that fell at different extremes. On one end of the spectrum was continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), the primary non-surgical treatment. On the other end, there was surgery – an option considered if CPAP was ineffective or not tolerated. For many, CPAP remains the primary mode of treatment. While it may be an effective treatment for some, others are simply intolerant or non-compliant with CPAP.
Fortunately, today there are a number of new options that can treat OSA symptoms or even provide a sleep apnea cure without using the mask. These CPAP alternatives target the underlying causes contributing to airway obstruction in order to ensure improved breathing during sleep. In this blog, the sleep apnea specialists at Atlanta Snoring Institute will address what these new treatments involve and how they may be able to provide a sleep apnea cure.
Curing Sleep Apnea Starts With Identifying the Underlying Source of Obstruction
In order for sleep apnea treatment to be effective, it is important to understand that it must be customized to the specific root cause of the problem. Without first identifying and targeting the source of obstruction, finding a sleep apnea cure would be a guessing game.
The causes of sleep apnea differ from person to person, which is why a thorough evaluation and customized treatment plan are so critical. Obstructive sleep apnea may be caused by factors such as:
- A large tongue
- Weak tongue muscles
- A jaw which is set back (overbite)
- Excess soft palate tissue
- Nasal polyps
- A deviated septum
- Allergies or chronic sinusitis
- Enlarged tonsils
- Increased weight
Finding a sleep apnea cure starts with an evaluation from an Atlanta sleep specialist who can assess all of the structures that could potentially be contributing to airway obstruction. In some cases, a sleep study (usually a home-based study) may be recommended to make an accurate diagnosis.
Finding a Sleep Apnea Cure Beyond the Mask
Once the root cause of your obstructive sleep apnea has been identified, there are a number of sleep apnea treatments to consider. The Atlanta Snoring Institute is pleased to offer minimally invasive procedures, which may be able to deliver a long-lasting sleep apnea cure through an office-based procedure with very little downtime.
Our sleep apnea doctors will recommend the best treatment option depending on your unique needs. CPAP alternative treatments offered at the Atlanta Snoring Institute include:
When sleep apnea is caused by excess soft palate tissue, the Pillar Procedure may be recommended. The in-office procedure involves inserting small implants into the soft palate, which effectively stabilize and firm up the tissue in the following weeks. As a result, the soft palate is no longer a source of a blocked airway or vibrations that cause loud snoring. Since 2006, our practice has been a leading provider of the Pillar Procedure with more procedures performed than any other practice in Georgia.
Soft Palate Coblation
Like the Pillar Procedure, soft palate Coblation is another procedure that may be recommended for OSA caused by excess soft palate tissue. The procedure uses targeted radio frequency waves to gently reduce and firm excess skin. After treatment, the tissue is reabsorbed into the body, enlarging the airway and reducing the chance of soft palate obstruction.
The length of an elongated soft palate can also be reduced with an in-office procedure called a palatal reduction when needed.
Our physicians are trained to custom fit patients with oral appliances. These are fitted in the office and are worn at night. They help reduce tongue collapse and increase muscle tone in the tongue and palate helping to reduce or eliminate sleep apnea.
Base of Tongue Reduction
This minimally invasive procedure is employed when the tongue is the primary culprit causing airway obstruction during sleep. It involves the application of targeted radio frequency waves at the base of the tongue to reduce the volume and firm the tissues in this area, thus enlarging the airway. After the procedure, the targeted tissue will be reabsorbed into the body over a period of several weeks as a result of the small, coagulated lesions formed from the radio frequency waves.
The AIRvance procedure is a surgical procedure for patients with OSA caused by tongue obstruction. It involves inserting a sling-like suture to support the tongue and keep it from falling backward during sleep. In effect, this stabilizes the tongue and prevents it from collapsing and obstructing the airway.
The Pillar Procedure, oral appliances, base of tongue reduction and the AIRvance procedure are just a few of the available sleep apnea treatments we offer that may provide a permanent sleep apnea cure without CPAP. A consultation with one of the board-certified physicians at Atlanta Snoring Institute is the first step to learning about the sleep apnea treatments that are best suited to your needs.
Make a Sleep Apnea Cure a Reality: Schedule a Consultation
Today, patients have more sleep apnea treatment options than ever. So if CPAP isn’t working for you and you are interested in exploring other options that can provide more permanent symptom relief, schedule an evaluation at the Atlanta Snoring Institute today. You can also get started by filling out the appointment form right on this page. We look forward to helping you achieve a better night’s sleep and a healthier lifestyle for you and your bed partner.