Posts Tagged ‘sleep apnea’

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Because sleep is so incredibly important to everyone, it’s essential that you look into all the different methods of getting a better night sleep.  If you have sleap apnea this is a condition which you can control as long as you are aware of how.  There are many sources of information on how to treat sleep apnea and these can include books and you GP.  Although there are many websites on health you should always seek advice from the best possible sources.  There are many websites with info written by people who have no real knowledge on the topic.

If you have very loud snoring you might think that you have sleep apnea but this isn’t necessarily the case which if why it’s important to talk to your doctor for a diagnosis.  Although snoring is often linked to apnea they don’t always have to go with each other.  If you think you are suffering from sleep apnea and you have a sleeping partner, that partner can help you make an initial diagnosis.

If you have a sleeping partner you should ask them if they would be so kind as to write down the number of times your breathing is interrupted during the night.  This is not very difficult because sleep apnea sufferers will either stop breathing or will make gasping, choking or snorting sounds when you try and get your breath back to normal.  Making notes about your snoring is also helpful. You can also get a tape recorder and put it on ‘Record’ while you sleep.

Normally sleep apnea occurs in men who are over 40 years old and are also overweight.  For those who fit this category and have other sleep apnea symptoms, it’s likely that the doctor will suspect that the problem is sleep apnea.  If in doubt, your doctor can look for obstructions in the nose and mouth and examine your throat and nose using either an endoscopy or an X-ray. A CT scan of the neck and head is another diagnosis tool.

If there is at all any doubts about what the problem is then spending a night in a specially set up sleep centre will allow your sleeping patterns to be monitored effectively.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea then it is likely that the method of treatment suggested to you will be the use of the CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine.  The machine is set up in such a way that there is a mask which has a plastic tube that is several feet in length.  The mask will be positioned over your nose and/or mouth and as you sleep, you will be given a constant supply of pressurized air given through the tube and this allows the airway to be kept open.

Another method is a surgical one and this involved removing the tissue from your nose, mouth or throat which is the source of the problem.  Some patients may even find that their jaws need to be reconstructed.

If you are the sort of person who doesn’t like the idea of surgery or medication then there are ways that you can treat yourself once you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea.  We all know that being overweight is not healthy and with the case of sleep apnea, this is very true.  If you lose 10% of your bodyweight you will make a considerable difference to your sleeping.  Another two things you should do, both for sleep apnea and general health, is to stop or limit your smoking and alcohol intake.  Sedatives are another thing that you should avoid taking. In addition, you should get yourself on a regular sleep schedule, one in which you can sleep during nighttime hours. If you prefer sleeping on your back, it’s time to switch to sleeping on your side.

You can also buy mouth pieces which help a lot of people with sleep apnea and they allow your airways to be opened and they realign your jaw or tongue.

There is no such thing as the perfect treatment so looking at all the different methods and discussing it with your doctor will allow you to choose which method you want yourself.  The simplest sleep apnea remedies will obviously be to lose weight and cut out cigarettes and alcohol.  Not only will you get a much better sleep but you’ll also feel healthier in general.