Because sleep apnea is a common yet potentially serious sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, treatment options aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. From sleep studies to specialized equipment, sleep apnea is treatable. Read on to explore various strategies for effectively treating sleep apnea, helping you or your loved ones breathe easier and sleep more soundly.
Taking Advantage of Helpful Machines
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a common recommendation from your doctor is being prescribed specialized sleep apnea treatment. One of the most effective and commonly known is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) machine, which works by keeping open airway passages to regulate your breathing as you sleep, supplying pressurized air via a hose and mask.
BiPAP (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) machines are similar to CPAP, but use dual pressure — higher when inhaling and lower when exhaling — to promote natural breathing and make exhaling easier. Both CPAP and BiPAP are great options for sleep apnea in their effectiveness: the former, better suited for those with obstructive sleep apnea, and the latter, for patients with central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Additionally, ASV (adaptive servo-ventilation) machines work by monitoring the user’s breathing during sleep and delivering customized air pressure for breathing stability.
Making Lifestyle Changes
Having sleep apnea doesn’t mean a CPAP is mandatory. There are other routes for sleep apnea treatment without CPAP.
An optimal sleep apnea treatment option might simply involve changing your sleeping position. Because sleep apnea is linked to sleeping on your back, you can decrease your symptoms by sleeping on your side.
It’s well known that smoking isn’t something that is doing your health any favors. Not only does smoking put your heart and lungs in an unhealthy place, but it’s also contributing to your sleep issues. You can add alleviating, even possibly eliminating, symptoms of sleep apnea to the list of benefits you’ll experience from quitting smoking today.
The onset of sleep apnea can also be linked to weight gain or weight fluctuations. Maintaining a healthy weight affects all aspects of your being and plays a vital role in controlling sleep apnea symptoms.
Surgery Could Be an Option
In the event that sleep apnea cannot be helped or controlled by sleep apnea equipment or lifestyle changes, your doctor may recommend surgery as an option to adjust a deviated septum or enlarged tonsils, or to reposition muscles of the soft palate.
It is important to note, however, that sleep apnea equipment may still be necessary even after surgery. Surgical intervention isn’t guaranteed to cure sleep apnea, but it can increase the effectiveness of the machines used to reduce sleep apnea symptoms.
Reclaim Your Sleep
At Whitney Sleep, we are dedicated to helping you get on a path towards sleep that is rejuvenating and restful. If you believe you’re struggling with sleep apnea, our sleep experts can carry you through a comprehensive exam to figure out possible causes. Schedule an appointment today to start getting better sleep tonight.