One afternoon I was searching through the internet, on a friend’s behalf, for articles about the treatment of Sleep Apnea. Something became abundantly clear. There weren’t many available that provided all the information. There were pieces of the puzzle here and there. And I had to spend an hour putting all those pieces together to get the full picture. Which is why I decided to write this article. It’s much needed because it’ll give you everything about the treatment of Sleep Apnea all in one place. So you don’t have to go through the hassle I did.
The problem is that there’s a major difference in the treatment of Sleep Apnea in its early stages and treatment of Sleep Apnea in its severe chronic stage. For the minority of you who have Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the treatment is different once again. Most articles will inform you of one, but not the others. This article is different.
What is Sleep Apnea
It is a condition where patients will have breathing pauses while they sleep. This doesn’t seem like a major issue for people who haven’t suffered from it. But, these pauses prevent you from getting into the third stage of sleep. This is the only sleep stage where actual rest is possible. So sufferers wake up completely exhausted and unable to perform simple acts like going for a walk or doing their job. The longer it continues, the more tired you’ll become. And, to make things worse, sleep Apnea can progress if not treated into a severe chronic long-term case.
These are the treatments for Sleep Apnea in its non-severe early stage. They’re mainly lifestyle changes which have been proven to be successful across thousands of patients.
Go And Get A Full Medical Check Up
There isn’t an agreement between medical professionals on the causes of Sleep Apnea. But, the common consensus is that other medical problems may disrupt your body’s normative regime and so bring on the condition. So get a full medical and tell your doctor you’re doing this to check for underlying causes of Sleep Apnea. Pay particular attention to heart problems. Heart Failure, Heart Disease and other problems related to the Heart, as these have been linked to the onset of Sleep Apnea
No Alcohol After Sunset
Alcohol relaxes the Airways but dries up the throat making it harder to keep your airways open. While it seems to make you drowsy, it is not conducive to quality breathing during sleep.
Get Off The Opioids
If you’re on any Opioid medication for another condition you’ll want to try something else. Opioids cause hyperventilation especially during sleep and so will worsen your already bad breathing.
Sleep on your side because this position opens up the airways. The worst position to sleep in with Sleep Apnea is on your stomach. This position puts pressure on the airways and closes them. Many sufferers consider this the best treatment of Sleep Apnea and indeed most non-severe cases are linked to sleep position.
Keep Your Nose Clean
Nasal Sprays are excellent in the treatment of Sleep Apnea because they keep your nasal passages open and prevent clogging. For many people, Nasal Sprays are the only thing needed.
These should be prescribed by a doctor because they’re specially designed for the treatment of Sleep Apnea. Generally, they open your lower jaw slightly to open your airways more as you sleep. Don’t worry, you don’t have to wear one during the day.
Anyone for Coffee?
Not you. Not with your Sleep Apnea. Stay off the Coffee during the evening and before bed. Coffee raises the heart rate, dries out the throat, closes the throat slightly and if all that wasn’t enough, it makes you wake up at night because of its energy rush. So you get the picture. It’s incredibly bad for Sleep Apnea.
These are the treatments for severe chronic Sleep Apnea:
They’re a little more invasive and uncomfortable (until you get used to them) than the lifestyle changes prescribed for mild sleep Apnea. But, bare with them and you’ll get results.
CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Sounds complex but it’s really simple to understand. You’ll be wearing a mask when you go to sleep. That’s the invasive part. The mask can be worn over the nose or over the mouth. And, it’ll have to be connected to a pump. The pump will pump out air down your throat (it’s not as uncomfortable as it seems), and this will help keep your airways open at night. The great news is that this has proven to be a miracle cure and there’s very few of those in medicine. Usually, patients experience improved sleep within days and complete recovery in weeks.
(ASV) Adaptive Servo-Ventilation
This is almost exactly the same as CPAP except that it adjusts the air pressure on a breath by breath basis, and may deliver breaths for you if you’re not breathing steadily. It gradually resumes your body to normative breathing.
Treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The easiest one to tell you about but the hardest one for you to undertake. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is when some barrier exists in your throat preventing you from breathing properly. You’ll have to get this removed by surgery and the surgery would depend on what the obstruction is. Until you get surgery, you’ll be given CPAP or ASV to at least open your airways a little more.
I hope this has been useful for people who find it difficult to search around the internet, or simply don’t have the time. I’ve basically put all the information about the treatment of Sleep Apnea in one place and in an easy to understand form. If you’ve had Sleep Apnea for a while then chances are the lifestyle changes aren’t going to work. You’ll need to wear the mask and have positive air pressure delivered to you. If you’ve just started to have trouble sleeping then you’ll probably just need to make a few of those changes and you’ll be fine. It’s more common than you think and the treatment is much easier than you imagine. Thank you for reading.