Updated: January 24, 2018
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs when breathing of a person is interrupted during sleep. People with untreated sleep apnea repeatedly stops and starts breathing due to lack of oxygen in brain and rest of the body. If you snore loudly and you feel tired even after sleeping a full night, you may have sleep apnea.
Treatment varies from lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or changing sleep positions, to CPAP therapy and surgery. Milder cases of sleep apnea can be treated by only lifestyle modification, such as losing weight or quitting smoking. Treatment of your allergies is recommended if you have nasal allergies.
If your apnea is moderate to severe, a number of other treatments are available. Certain devices can help open up a blocked airway. Dental devices can also be designed by dentists with special expertise in treating sleep apnea which will help keeping the airway open during sleep.
Surgery may be necessary for some cases. Usually surgery is the only option when other treatment fails. But before considering a surgery, at least a three-month trial of other treatment options is suggested.
For people with certain jaw structure problems, surgery is the first option. The aim of surgery for sleep apnea is to enlarge the airway through your nose or throat that may be blocking your upper air passages and causing sleep apnea.
Central sleep apnea occurs when your brain fails to send proper signals to the muscles that control breathing. When someone has both obstructive sleep apnea and central sleep apnea, complex sleep apnea occurs. Abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath happens in central sleep apnea.
Treatment option for central and complex sleep apnea may include:
Heart or neuromuscular disorders are some of the possible causes of sleep apnea treating which may eliminate central sleep apnea. Such an example is optimizing therapy for heart failure may eliminate central sleep apnea.
Using supplemental oxygen while you sleep may help if you have central sleep apnea. Various forms of oxygen as well as different devices to deliver oxygen to your lungs are available.
This is an airflow device which can read your normal breathing pattern and stores the information in a built-in computer. The machine works by delivering pressure to normalize your breathing pattern and prevent pauses in your breathing. ASV is more successful than other forms of positive airway pressure for treating complex sleep apnea in some people.
This method is also used in obstructive sleep apnea which involves wearing a pressurized mask over your nose or mouth which is hooked up to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air into the nose while you sleep. The air pressure is somewhat greater than that of the surrounding air, and is just enough to keep your upper airway passages open, preventing apnea and snoring.
Some people find it uncomfortable to wear a mask while sleeping. But with little practice, most people learn to adjust the tension of the straps to get a comfortable and secure fit.
You may need to try more than one type of mask to find a suitable one for you with which you may feel comfortable. A humidifier along with your CPAP systems can also be used to get the benefit.
BiPAP builds to a higher pressure when you breath in and decreases to a lower pressure when you breath out. It can assist the weak breathing pattern of central sleep apnea. The machine can be set in such a way that it automatically deliver a breath if it detects you have not taken one after so many seconds.