Sleep Apnea Treatment for Mild to Moderate Cases

by anonymous user on June 11, 2011

There are different examples of sleep apnea treatment used for different severity levels of the disorder. But did you know that short of surgery, which is generally avoided by doctors, there is no single treatment which can cure sleep apnoea? In fact sleep apnea treatment is only useful as long as it is maintained. If a patient neglects their treatment then the problem will begin again.

This is because sleep apnoea is a chronic condition. it is caused when a blockage in the airway stops or significantly interrupts breathing whilst a patient sleeps. This obstruction is caused by a collapse of the airway because of a lack of tone around the windpipe. This can happen many times an hour and each time the brain becomes aware of the problem and jerks the patient momentarily into consciousness. This limits the amount of time an individual spends getting restorative and deep sleep, leaving them tired and irritable. Not only this, but it can bring about several very serious health problems such as heart disease and stroke.

So what does sleep apnea treatment entail? In fact in mild cases, doctors will rarely actually prescribe any specific treatment. Rather they will recommend small lifestyle changes which will greatly reduce the frequency of apnoeas through the night. Being overweight is the main avoidable contributing factor in sleep apnoea, so weight loss is the first port of call where necessary. In addition, smoking, drinking and taking sleeping pills exacerbate the problem, so patients will be asked to avoid these. Also, because it is understood that lying on the back to sleep increased the risk of apnoeas, doctors encourage patients to alter their sleeping position so that they lie on their backs.

In more severe cases, where these changes have failed to improve the disorder, a sleep apnea treatment called CPAP may be suggested. This is short for continuous positive airway pressure and entails the use of CPAP machines which send a flow of continuous air to hold open the airway to prevent its collapse. Most patients find these uncomfortable at first, but they do find them more tolerable after getting used to them. Today’s CPAP machines are more comfortable and quieter than in the past. it is important to note the difference between a sleep apnea treatment and a cure: CPAP works only as long as it is used.

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