Sleep apnea treatment is surprisingly simple and painless, but many patients often fail to follow the advice of
their doctor. This decision is one that can prove dangerous - even deadly. Sleep apnea is a progressive illness
that worsens over time and can lead to extremely serious medical illnesses. Read on to find out about each of the
treatments that doctors usually recommend and how they can simply become a part of your life.
There currently is no proven sleep medicine for sleep apnea. However, there are four basic approaches to
Firstly, doctors recommend changing the circumstances which may be causing the apnea. This would include
suggesting that the patient lose weight, quit smoking and avoid alcohol and sedative drugs. The sufferer should
also get into a regular sleeping schedule and try to sleep only on their side.
The second and most common treatment option is in using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) in the upper
airway to support and hold the airway open. This involves wearing a CPAP mask over the nose. The mask provides a
supply of continuously flowing air via a flexible plastic hose from a CPAP machine.
The third treatment option is the use of a dental splint. One of the reasons for the upper airway to become
narrowed at night is because the tongue falls posteriorly. Using a dental splint at night prevents the jaw and
tongue from moving back. However, oral devices have not proven to be as effective, as CPAP and the appliances can
The fourth and most extreme form of apnea treatment is surgery. This kind of procedure increases the size of the
upper airway. It usually involves removal of the part of the soft palate that hangs down in the back of the throat,
as well as the tonsils if present, and other soft tissue if it is felt to be excessive. This procedure is usually
reserved for patients with severe sleep apnea.
To diagnose which sleep apnea treatment is best for you, your doctor will evaluate the symptoms you're
experiencing and their severity. If you think that treatment is a nuisance that you don't want to be bothered with,
then consider the alternatives. Apnea can lead to more severe illnesses like depression, high blood pressure,
diabetes and heart disease. On the other hand, patients who do undergo treatment report fewer headaches, improved
mood, higher energy and improved job performance, as well as a better night of sleep.
Your sleep apnea treatment will have numerous benefits to your overall health if you stick to the plan your
doctor has laid out for you. If you do have problems, then speak to your doctor for further sleep apnea support, to
see if anything else can be done to make you more comfortable. The benefits of a restful night of sleep will be
well worth the effort.