It’s crucial for people with sleep apnea to receive immediate and appropriate sleep apnea treatment. This is because sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects not just the sufferer’s sleep habits, but also the quality of his life. People with sleep apnea feel lethargic all the time, and they are unable to function normally in family, social and occupational settings.
Needless to say, sleep apnea is one of the serious sleep disorders requiring immediate treatment. It’s a progressive condition, meaning it can worsen over time. Sleep apnea can also lead to the development of other life threatening health conditions. Thus, if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or if you suspect you have the disorder, read up as much information as you can about the condition, learn about the different sleep apnea treatment options available and their side effects.
To date, no sleep medicine exists to treat sleep apnea, although there are four basic sleep apnea treatment options.
4 Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
The first sleep apnea treatment option involves lifestyle modification. Many cases of sleep apnea are the result of being overweight, smoking, alcohol consumption and taking sedative drugs. Thus, lifestyle modifications include dieting and exercising in order to lose weight, giving up the smoking habit, eliminating or cutting back on alcohol consumption, and limiting the use of sedative drugs. Sufferers are also advised to stick to a regular sleep schedule, as well as to sleep on their side.
The second sleep apnea treatment option is the CPAP mask. CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The patient wears the CPAP mask over his nose during sleep. The mask is hooked to a CPAP machine that generates positive air pressure, keeping the upper airway open. The machine provides a continuous supply of air to the patient, reducing the obstruction in the air passages.
The third sleep apnea treatment option involves using a dental splint. This treatment option is given to those whose sleep apnea is caused by the tongue falling back into the throat. The sleep apnea sufferer wears the dental splint at night in order to keep his jaw and tongue from moving back during sleep. But then, dental devices are found to be not that effective, and many sufferers find the CPAP mask uncomfortable to use.
The fourth sleep apnea treatment option is surgery. Surgery is the most extreme and invasive of all sleep apnea treatment options, and is recommended for those who have sever sleep apnea. Typically, surgery aims to increase the size of the upper airway. It can involve removal of the soft palate hanging down in the back of the throat. It can also involve the removal of the tonsils and other excess soft tissue.
It’s crucial that you comply with the sleep apnea treatment prescribed to you by your doctor. If your doctor prescribe the use of a dental splint or a CPAP mask, you may find it a hassle to use these devices, but do remember that these sleep apnea treatments can prevent your sleep apnea from causing a number of serious diseases such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. If you are instructed to make lifestyle changes, remember that it’s for your own benefit. Sleep apnea patients who actively comply with the treatment option given to them report experiencing better sleep, infrequent morning headaches, improved mood, and better job performance.
If you stick to your particular sleep apnea treatment, you’ll soon notice it benefits on your health. If you have issues with your treatment plan, however, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor for additional sleep apnea support.