Positional therapy, or sleeping on one’s side, is a common suggestion along with weight loss. CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure is used with a facial or nasal mask, or pillars, and blows air to maintain an open airway. Oral appliances mechanically maintain a patent airway and can be fabricated by a FAH dentist. An ENT doctor can evaluate the nasal airway and, if necessary, surgically correct enlarged turbinates or a deviated septum. Nasal sprays, breathe-rite strips, and nasal plugs are also used to open the nasal airway.
Early intervention is ideal as the brain is developing. Breastfeeding and frenum inspection helps develop the airway and shrinks tonsils and adenoids. A pediatric ENT trained in sleep will be able to evaluate adenoid and tonsillar obstruction of the airway. Early palatal expansion will make more room for the tongue, while at the same time help enlarge the nasal airway. Myofunctional therapy is a useful adjunct to adenotonsillectomy and palatal expansion. Allergies should be treated and in severe cases CPAP considered.
Collaborative care is ideal. In mild and moderate cases, consult your ENT and FAH dentist. In high, moderate, to severe cases, CPAP may be prescribed. Weight loss and positional therapy will reduce OSA as well. Oral appliances should be titratable and as thin as possible.
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