Given its unique causes and symptoms, it can be quite difficult to find a reliable treatment for sleep apnea. As a matter of fact, without various testing and the close help of a physician, it can be hard to figure out where to even start.
So, to brief you on what your options are, we’ve prepared a guide to common sleep apnea treatments. In case you need extra help, we’ve also provided resources for sleep aids, mattresses, pillows, doctors, and other related topics.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
CPAPs or continuous positive airway pressure machines are specialized devices designed to deliver a constant stream of air to a person while they are asleep. This type of sleep apnea solution is by far the most common and is praised for its reliability and effectiveness.
The main drawback to using a CPAP is that a mask must be worn at all times while the patient is asleep. This makes CPAPs quite cumbersome and difficult to adjust to, especially in the early stages of treatment.
It’s worth noting however that most folks who are able to adjust to a CPAP machine often report having better quality sleep and minimal snoring.
Oral appliances generally work by opening your airway and allowing you to breathe without airway obstructions. While CPAPs are usually more reliable, oral pieces are much more convenient as they are usually the size of a small mouthpiece.
Most oral pieces push your jaw forward thereby clearing space in the back of your throat and allowing easier breathing. These snoring solutions are usually provided by dentists as they must be specifically fitted to your mouth much like braces.
Adaptive servo-ventilation machines or ASVs for short, are rather similar to CPAPs in that they use air to improve breathing and reduce snoring. The difference with this particular device lies in the fact that it is capable of learning a patient’s breathing pattern.
The ASV then stores this data in an onboard computer as a reference for instances where a patient stops breathing or begins to hyperventilate. Due to the advanced nature of ASVs, they are usually better suited to those with central sleep apnea.
While CPAPs can also work, those with central sleep apnea can sometimes feel suffocated due to the constant flow of air. ASVs will monitor breathing and supply patients with only enough air to return to normal breathing patterns.
Surgery is usually a last resort that is deployed in cases where patients cannot use a CPAP or ASV normally. During this form of treatment, a physician will usually meet with a patient to determine whether throat tissue should be removed or simply shrunken down.
In the case of the former, patients will usually have their tonsils and adenoids removed along with small sections of their uvula. For the latter, a special procedure is used known as radiofrequency ablation which shrinks tissue as opposed to removing it.
If you feel that you may need treatment, it’s important to consult a physician as soon as possible in order to address your sleep apnea quickly and effectively. Keep in mind however that treatments and sleep apnea devices can be quite expensive.
Because of this, many folks will opt for some form of health insurance to help offset the cost of any medical expenses.