When you have sleep apnea, you are constantly in a battle to achieve a good night of sleep. Hence, people are searching for the holy grail of treatment. There are a number of common treatment options and there’s also something new that can help. If you suffer from sleep apnea, you might just be surprised by these most common treatments for sleep apnea.
What Treatments are Used for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a very common disorder in which your breathing pauses, or shallow breaths occur while you are sleep. The scary fact is that these pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes. Also, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, these episodes can occur 30 or more times in an hour. Normal breathing typically starts right away after these short pauses. Now sleep apnea can often go undiagnosed, so if you are experiencing these symptoms, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. If left untreated, sleep apnea can have serious complications on your health. These are some the conditions that can occur if sleep apnea is not treated: high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and other ailments.
Sleep apnea is very treatable and options are designed to help relieve the symptoms. Here are some of the most common treatments for sleep apnea that might help you or someone you know with sleep apnea:
Cigarette smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are just some of the factors known to increase the likelihood and severity of sleep apnea. Eliminating or reducing these risk factors will substantially decrease the presence and severity of sleep apnea in most individuals. Having a healthier diet, quit smoking and developing a good sleep routine can also significantly help.
The Mayo Clinic mentions that mouthpieces, or oral appliances, may help people who have a mild form of sleep apnea. Mouthpieces are designed to help open your throat by bringing your jaw forward. This can help with any snoring or case of sleep apnea that might occur.
CPAP and EPAP
The CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure treatment, is probably the most common treatment for chronic conditions of sleep apnea. This treatment requires patients to wear a mask over their nose while sleeping to treat sleep apnea. The primary function of the CPAP device is to prevent the airway restriction that can prompt episodes of sleep apnea. The upper airway is held open through a pressurized stream of air that is filtered through the mask.
The EPAP, or expiratory positive airway pressure treatment, is the most recent treatment approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The treatment involves using a small device over the nostrils before you go to sleep. The device is a valve that allows air to move freely in, but when you exhale, air must go through small holes in the valve. This increases pressure in the airway and keeps it open.
Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA)
RFA directs small amounts of targeted energy to the base of the tongue in the back of the throat using a non-invasive device. Following the procedure, the treated area heals, and the tissue is tightened and reduced in size, which directly prevents the tongue from blocking the airway while the patient is sleeping. The outpatient procedure is performed with local anesthesia.
If you have sleep apnea and would like to learn more about other treatment options, we can help. Please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.