Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

by admin on July 6, 2017

As the physician at ENT Memphis in Tennessee, otolaryngologist Rande Lazar, MD, cares for many patients who struggle with sleep apnea. Rande Lazar, MD, is also active in writing professional articles on this common topic of concern. Obstructive sleep apnea results from a relaxing of the muscles that keep the airway open. The resultant need for air activates the body to re-start the breath, a process that can force the person into a lighter sleep stage or a temporary wakefulness. The result is poor sleep that in turn leads to drowsiness throughout the day. Most patients with sleep apnea receive treatment via a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP. This device covers the patient’s nose and mouth like a mask and produces a gentle flow of air, which encourages the airway to stay open. Other patients opt for or respond better to an oral appliance, which shifts the tongue and lower jaw to prevent airway blockages.

For some patients, however, surgery is the best option. Some surgical procedures may serve to correct structural abnormalities, such as excess tissue, that contribute to airway obstruction. Others involve the introduction of a device that stimulates the nerves that control the movement of the tongue. Patients may also need to implement certain lifestyle changes to control their sleep apnea. Overweight patients often find that weight loss relieves some of the pressure on the airway and relieves the symptoms of apnea, while smoking cessation reduces airway swelling and improves breathing overall. Other patients might find that a change in sleep position is helpful, but a qualified physician should be involved in all treatment plans

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