Complete Guide To Sleep Apnea Treatments

Complete Guide To Sleep Apnea Treatments

Sleep Apnea is a potentially dangerous disorder because it is a condition when breathing repeatedly stops and starts during sleep.

There are two main types of sleep apnea. The more common one is obstructive sleep apnea. It occurs when throat muscles relax and your airway narrows or closes preventing you to breath in. The brain, then, wakes you up for a moment to restore breathing. This process might occur between 5 and 30 times every hour during the entire night.

Central sleep apnea is caused when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Complex sleep apnea is the combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.

Depending on which type of sleep apnea you have and how bad it is, you have many different options to treat it or make it more manageable.
Treatments for sleep apnea fall into several different categories:

Treatments for sleep apnea with breathing-assistance devices.

Surgery for sleep apnea in the cases when the condition is life-threatening

There are also home remedies, lifestyle changes and alternative treatments for sleep apnea you can try with the supervision of your doctor.

Treatments For Sleep Apnea

Some machines deliver air pressure, grater than that of the surrounding air through a mask placed over your nose while you sleep. This is called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), and is just enough to keep your upper airway passages open and prevent you from snoring. It works for moderate or severe sleep apnea, but is somewhat uncomfortable and using it requires adjustment time. Trying on more than one mask and using a humidifier with your CPAP machine could be helpful. Always consult a doctor before you quit using the CPAP machine, since minor adjustments might fix the problem.

There are devices that automatically adjust the air pressure while you sleep and might be better than the CPAP. These are units that supply bilievel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) and provide more pressure when you inhale and less pressure when you exhale.

One recently approved airflow device is Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV). It learns your normal breathing pattern and saves it into a computer. During sleep the device uses pressure to normalize yout breathing and prevent pauses. ASV may be more successful than CPAP at treating central sleep apnea, but there hasn’t been enough research yet.

Easier to use than a CPAP but less effective are oral appliances. They are designed to keep your throat open by bringing your jaw forward. This sometimes relieves snoring and can treat mild obstructive sleep apnea. Oral devices can usually be supplied by your dentist. There are many different ones and it might take some time until you find the best fit. Always follow up with your dentist at least twice a year to reassess your symptoms and make sure that the fit is still good for you.

People whose tongue is the main source of obstruction when they lye on their back might benefit from tongue-restraining devices (TRDs), which is a suction cup that is gripped with the teeth and sucks the tongue forward.

Surgery For Sleep Apnea

When you have sleep apnea, your air passages are blocked or you have extra tissue around your nose and throat that may be vibrating and causing snoring. The goal of surgery for sleep apnea is to remove the extra tissue. There are several ways to do this:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) - Extra tissue is removed from the rear of your mouth and the top of your throat, most likely including the tonsils and adenoids. If, however, there is tissue farther down your throat, it will not be removed during the operation and will continue to cause trouble while you sleep.

Maxillomandibular advancement - It makes obstruction less likely by moving forward the upper and lower part of your jaw from the remainder of your face bones, which enlarges the space behind the tongue and soft palate.

Tracheostomy - this is the most serious procedure, done only when you have life-threatening sleep apnea. A metal or plastic tube is inserted through an opening in your neck, to assist your breathing. The opening is kept covered during the day and uncovered at night.

Laser-assisted ululopalatoplasty and Radiofrequency ablation - these are procedures where your doctor removes tissues in the back of your throat with a laser or radiofrequency energy. They are used to treat snoring but are not recommended as sole treatments for obstructive sleep apnea. Other procedures for reducing snoring are nasal surgery and surgery to remove enlarged tonsils and adenoids.

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies For Sleep Apnea

There are many things you can do on your own to manage or treat obstructive sleep apnea and possibly central sleep apnea.

Lose Weight
Quit Smoking
Avoid alcohol and certain medications
Sleep on your side or abdomen
Keep your nasal passages open at night
Treat heart or neuromuscular disorders
Treat allergies and respiratory infections

Alternative Sleep Apnea Treatments

Treating sleep apnea with tea therapy:

A cup of hot tea before bedtime can promote normal and restful sleep. There are several types of tea known for their ability to promote sleepiness:

Sleepy Time Tea

Chamomile Tea

Valerian Tea

Hops Tea

Catnip Tea

Treating sleep apnea with homeopathy

It is important you consult a homeopathic practitioner before you start any treatment. According to the constitutional type of the person different types of treatments will be recommended. Diet should be closely monitored, eliminating sugar and other allergic foods, since homeopathic practitioners believe sleep apnea is related to a loss of energy.

Treating sleep apnea with yoga

Yoga is appropriate for all ages and can greatly reduce stress and improve the quality of sleep. Their are breathing and relaxation techniques that will relieve your sleep apnea. The special type of yoga that promotes sleep is called Yoga Nidra, which in Sanskrit means Sleep. Yoga uses breathing and visualization techniques to help you relax, and it is recommended you do the exercises every night before sleep.

Treating sleep apnea with acupuncture

In Chinese medicine acupuncture has been used for a long time to treat sleeping disorders. Many techniques have been developed to improve the ease, duration, and quality of sleep. The procedure known as acupressure consists of applying to identified body points related to sleep issues.

For more information on treating sleep apnea and a detailed explanation of each sleep apnea treatment, please visit Cure Sleep Apnea Now.

A filmmaker and a photographer interested in all things related to green, healthy and sustainable living.

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