3 Types Of Treatment For Sleep Apnea

Few things are as refreshing as a good night of sleep. For individuals who suffer from a condition called sleep apnea, one restful night of sleep can be hard to come by. Sleep apnea is characterized by fatigue, insomnia, and loud snoring.

Your body actually stops breathing for a short period of time several times throughout the night when you have sleep apnea. Taking any over-the-counter sleep medications could make your symptoms worse. It's important that you work with a reputable doctor to identify the proper treatment for your sleep apnea.

1. CPAP Machine

One of the most commonly used treatments for sleep apnea is a CPAP machine. This machine is designed to increase the amount of air pressure inside your throat while you are sleeping. An increase in air pressure prevents the soft tissue at the back of the throat from collapsing and blocking off your airway during the night.

Some people have great luck with a CPAP machine, while others find the apparatus to be bulky and uncomfortable. If a CPAP machine isn't the right option for you, there are other treatment methods available.

2. Oral Appliance

A newer treatment option for sleep apnea is an oral appliance. These appliances are fitted by a dental specialist so that they will provide maximum comfort during the night.

The purpose of the oral appliance is to reposition the mouth so that the soft tissue at the back of the throat doesn't have the ability to collapse in and block off the airway during sleep.

Since each oral appliance is custom made, you can ensure an exact fit. Many sleep apnea patients like to use an oral appliance because these devices are easy to travel with and relatively inconspicuous.

3. Lifestyle Changes

Although typically not used as a standalone treatment, many sleep apnea patients see improvement in their condition when they engage in some lifestyle changes.

Your doctor might recommend that you increase your physical activity level. A higher BMI is associated with sleep apnea, so losing weight could help you experience some relief.

You may also be advised to avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime and sleep on your side. These changes will help reduce the likelihood that the soft tissue at the back of your throat will restrict normal breathing during the night.

The best medicine for sleep apnea is the treatment plan that works. Work closely with your doctor to identify the best way to reduce the negative impact sleep apnea can have on your future. Come to Elkview General Hospital for more help.