Snoring, longer periods of non-breathing while sleeping, waking up with a headache in the morning and feeling fatigued after a night’s sleep indicate sleeping problems and might be associated with sleep apnea. A medical practitioner can identify the problem and provide the appropriate sleep apnea treatment but it is still best to understand what it is all about.
Sleep apnea cannot be easily detected by doctors. There are no routine laboratory tests to confirm its presence but if the doctor suspects sleep apnea, your partner or another family member will be asked to observe your sleeping habits before giving any sleep apnea treatment.
There are three types of sleep apnea – obstructive, central, and complex. In obstructive apnea, the sufferer breathes shallowly while sleeping. In central apnea, breathing stops and starts repeatedly. In complex apnea, patients exhibit the symptoms of obstructive apnea but the condition shifts to central apnea when treated with a device to ease the breathing passageways.
If left untreated, you increase your risk for heart attack, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and obesity. The possibility of meeting work related accidents is also high because you lack focus and sleepy – you can actually drop off to sleep even while driving or talking! That is how severe apnea can wreck havoc on your life.
The sleep apnea treatment/s
There are several treatments for sleep apnea – surgery, oral devices and breathing devices such as the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP.
There are several invasive or surgical sleep apnea treatments available for obstructive apnea. Removal of enlarge adenoids or tonsils or uvulopalatopharneoplasty is commonly done on patients with the condition.
Another approach, geniotubercle advancement is to reposition the jawbone to position the tongue and relive the airways of any obstruction. This is done when the uvulopalatopharneoplasty is not effective.
Surgeons also perform a hyoid myotomy while doing the geniotubercle advancement. The hyoid or the bone located in the frontal and upper neck is repositioned to advance the tongue’s base. Complications are rare but this can result sometimes in dental nerve anesthesia or that abnormal skin pallor under the eye area and nose. Surgery is expensive, painful, and the results are not always guaranteed.
Painless and safer sleep apnea treatment
For common sleep apnea, sleeping with a CPAP has proven effective. A tube connecting the nose or mouth or both to the device provides the pressure needed to push air through the airways. This is recommended to patients with central and obstructive sleep apnea. The pressure is regulated according to the patient’s condition. This has to be worn every night – but compared to expensive surgery and unpredictable results, using CPAP is a better option.
CPAPs are generally covered by insurance and those that are have better quality. This can also be rented to own; this way you can choose the best CPAP for you before you decided to buy the device.
Those who are not candidates for the CPAP are provided dental devices. These are rather expensive and uncomfortable. Patients who used dental devices for their sleep apnea treatment experienced excessive salivation, dry mouth, and changes of teeth position. Those using oral devices are advised to visit their dentist regularly.