As you probably know, sleep apnea is a condition that causes pauses in breathing during sleep and is known to increase risk of health problems such as heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes and even sudden death. Sleep apnea can cause heartburn and acid reflux, depression, and erectile dysfunction as well. Practical problems by interfering with one’s productivity and lowering concentration levels may also result from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea treatment options
The treatment for sleep apnea can vary according to the type of sleep apnea a person has (obstructive, central or complex sleep apnea), however generally the following surgical and non surgical options can be used to treat this sleep disorder.
Sleep apnea non surgical treatment options
Behavioral therapy can be one option where a person is required to make lifestyle changes such as changing one’s sleeping position, avoiding certain medications or substances such as alcohol and drugs etc.
Other lifestyle alterations may include interventions such as diet modification and an effective exercise regimen to help in weight loss because excess body weight is a known contributor to this sleep disorder.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is an effective treatment for sleep apnea which helps by keeping the airways open. It helps ‘splint’ the airway of the sleep apnea sufferer by maintaining a flow of pressurized air into the throat.
Certain medications are also known to help treat sleep apnea.
Certain oral or dental appliances or masks can be used to facilitate the opening of the airways to prevent breathing disturbances. These devices help to move the lower jaw forward or perhaps change the position of the tongue and the soft palate and can be useful in treating milder forms of sleep apnea and will also help reduce symptoms such as snoring.
There are some devices that can also help position a person better during sleep. Using a simple home remedy such as a shirt with a ball or similar object sewn into the back will help the person stay on their side when sleeping.
Sleep apnea surgical treatment options
Prior to trying surgical treatments it is best that the non-surgical remedies are tried out to see if they are effective.
Surgery may be required to treat some cases of sleep apnea, particularly obstructive sleep apnea and is usually geared towards stiffening or shrinking in size certain excess tissue in the throat, mouth and so on.
Surgery can also be used to clear other obstructions in the nasal passages or the throat structures.