Obstructive sleep apnea is the most common type of sleep apnea. There are more than 85% sleep apnea cases is obstructive sleep apnea. The obstructive sleep apnea treatment can vary depends on the severity of the problem.
In mild cases, people can use therapies such as sleep apnea mask, sleep apnea oral devices, sleep apnea pillow and in combination with good sleep hygiene. In moderate cases, the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine will be used. In severe cases, when the CPAP machine is not effective, surgery is the only solution. In this post, we will walk through all the treatments for obstructive sleep apnea and find out which one a person should use to cure his/her sleep apnea problem.
Treatments for mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea
Apply good sleep hygiene
In mild cases of sleep apnea, which is the situation that sleep apnea doesn’t cause many problems to the sufferer’s life, having good sleep hygiene is enough. For example, that person only snores a little at night and he/she can work effectively in the day.
Good sleep hygiene includes avoiding alcohol and other muscle relaxants such as sleeping pills. As you may know, alcohol and sleeping pills will cause the muscle to relax and narrow the airway, which causes snoring during sleeping.
Research showed that obese people have a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea than normal people. This is because the fat will press the muscles around the throat and cause difficulty in the air passage. If you are overweight, losing weight is a good thing to do to treat sleep apnea.
Raising the head, sleep on sides are things people with mild sleep apnea can do to prevent the airway from collapse which in case, reduce snoring.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy can be effective in treating mild sleep apnea. The device is usually a mouthpiece or mouthguard that helps the tongue from falling backward and also opens the throat to help air flow better. The oral appliance therapy is quite convenient and does the job quite well so it’s quite popular. However, remember this item is only for mild cases. In moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea, the OAT becomes useless.
Treatment for moderate cases of obstructive sleep apnea
Continuous Positive Air Pressure machine
The CPAP machine is one of the most effective treatments for sleep apnea. What the machine will do is create a continuous airflow to open the airway passage which in turn helps the person treat sleep apnea. The machine contains a fan. The fan will create airflow and blow directly to the nostrils. The use of CPAP improves the quality of sleep and reduces other problems such as insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness (these problems are very common in people to suffer from Obstructive sleep apnea).
However, the CPAP is not a cure for obstructive sleep apnea because each time the person goes to sleep, he or she must wear the CPAP mask. Without it, he/she will have a problem again. Also, despite the effectiveness of the machine, many people refuse to use it as it causes a lot of inconveniences as well as side effects. Because the machine blows the air against the normal breath, it will be hard for the person who uses the machine to exhale. If you use the CPAP machine before, you will also notice the dryness in the nose like living in dry weather.
The ultimate treatment for sleep apnea – surgery
When pressure creates from the CPAP machine is not enough to open the airway passage, surgery is necessary to save the life of the patient. Surgery has a very high success rate, 95% and people who experience the treatment report that their problem no more persists. That means they don’t snore in sleep. The sleep quality improved and their productivity increased dramatically. There are two types of surgery for sleep apnea: palatal surgery and jaw surgery. They both remove the excess tissue around airway passage to prevent the airway from collapsing.
If you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, don’t be panic. As you can see, the problem is treatable and there are quite many available treatments for sleep apnea. Be sure to meet your doctor first to do a diagnosis so you will know which treatment is appropriate. Read more