Now that you know a little more about sleep apnea… Learn how you may be able to improve your situation.
Education is the key!
Here are eight areas that address sleep apnea, the first three you can do on your own:
- Behavioral Therapy
- Weight Reduction
- Positional Therapy
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
- Oral Appliances
- Upper Airway Surgery
- Nasal Treatment
- Pharmacological Therapy
All patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) are advised to avoid activities or agents that may worsen their disease. These include alcohol consumption before sleep, use of sedatives/hypnotics (benzodiazapines, opiods, zolpidem) and sleep deprivation.
As obesity is the single most important predictor of apnea, weight loss would be expected to lead to an increase in upper airway dimensions and an improvement in sleep-disordered breathing. While long-term weight loss can be difficult, additional alternatives may prove beneficial.
In most patients, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is considerably worse while laying on your back. Studies have shown that the upper airway dimensions, airflow resistance and airway collapsibility all deteriorate while sleeping in that position.
An aid to avoid sleeping on one’s back is to place a tennis ball in a sock and sew the sock to the back of a nightshirt (or T-shirt).
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
Applied through a nasal mask, CPAP has been the primary therapy since 1981. While it can be effective in many cases, the comfort level and learning curve to make the CPAP equipment successful presents obstacles.
If you have tried CPAP and no longer able to continue with that regime – learn how the other alternatives may better suit your circumstances by making an appointment today.
Several intra-oral devices have been designed to enlarge the airway during sleep. Such devices are prepared by a dentist, and have been shown to enlarge the airway. Oral appliances appear to be very successful in improving snoring and has shown a positive impact on relieving apnea.
Get more information about our custom made oral appliances by making an appointment today.
Upper Airway Surgery
It is estimated that no more than 2% of adults with OSA have a discrete anatomical abnormality of the upper airway that, if repaired, will lead to a cure of the sleep apnea.
Tracheostomy was the first surgical procedure used in the treatment of apnea, but currently it is rarely performed for sleep apnea.
The repair of the nasal area has also been shown to improve sleep apnea. Whether a surgical or medical approach is take – it can result in improvement.
We can provide additional information on what approach may help in your situation, contact us today for an appointment.
A variety of drugs have been used to treat OSA. Overall, pharmacological agents have been disappointing as a treatment option for OSA.
Learn more about respiratory stimulants by making an appointment today.