The way the medical community views, and treats, sleep disordered breathing is changing and for the better. For many years, the gold standard has been the CPAP. Almost on a daily basis, Dr. Cruz hears complaints from patients about this treatment, although for individuals with severe sleep apnea it is life support. It’s keeping them alive, so not doing it isn’t really an option.
For patients with upper airway resistance syndrome, or even mild sleep apnea, it’s very easy for them to say, “Well I'll deal with it,” and decline CPAP. However, it actually affects the quality of life. Without treatment, that individual is often miserable. The good news is that, alternative treatment options can dramatically improve the quality of life for those patients. It can improve their productivity, their health in general, how they feel, how they function, and how often they get sick.
Jaw repositioning device
Jaw repositioning devices are a more viable acceptable alternative for most people who are on CPAP. They can use it comfortably, and take it with them when they travel. A study was done using the jaw-repositioning device with the military personnel in Afghanistan, where they can't have a power supply, which is needed for the CPAP. It showed very good success, so we know that these devices work well. Dr. Cruz has used jaw-repositioning devices routinely, but he is moving away from them because of the side effects.
Brazil is light-years ahead of the United States in the treatment of sleep disordered breathing, although their techniques are being studied at some of the medical centers around the country. What Brazil has been practicing successfully for many years is myofunctional therapy. It has to do with the muscles in our airway and around our airway that allow us to maintain our airway throughout the day, and at night. Myofunctional therapy is a series of exercises you do, guided by a trained myofunctional therapist. It typically takes up to about a year. These exercises progress, and they essentially tone the base of the tongue and the airway to keep that airway open, even when you're asleep.
There are studies to show that it is a predictable treatment for up to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and it's often a better alternative than the jaw-repositioning device. Dr. Cruz is proud to offer his patients this predictable, noninvasive treatment option. If you suffer from upper airway resistance syndrome or obstructive sleep apnea, call (949) 661-1006 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Cruz to learn more about your options.