Health Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

September 23rd, 2009

Treatment Options For Obstructive Sleep Apnea Sufferers

You have completed your sleep study, and your sleep specialist has confirmed that you are suffering from Obstructive Sleep Apnea, so what next? This article looks at some of the sleep apnea treatment options that are likely to be available to you.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea or OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea and usually means that your airway collapses or becomes blocked during sleep. This obstruction occurs when the muscles in your airway relax and the soft tissue in the rear of your throat collapses and closes your airway. Obstructive Sleep Apnea is classed as clinically significant if breathing stops for more than 10 seconds each time and if this occurs more than 10 times every hour.

The objectives of any sleep apnea treatment will be to restore your regular breathing during sleep and relieve symptoms such as loud snoring and daytime sleepiness.

Treatment Options

Your sleep specialist will probably discuss with you a number of options to address or manage your sleep apnea.

Options that are likely to be presented to you will include:
– Lifestyle changes to manage contributing causes.
– Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP.
– Oral appliances designed to keep your airway open while sleeping,
– Surgery, or
– A combination of a number of the above

Lifestyle Changes to Manage Sleep Apnea

Lifestyle changes that may be suggested to assist in the management of sleep apnea will probably include:
– Avoidance of alcohol and medicines that act as muscle relaxants close to bedtime.
– For sufferers that are carrying extra weight, weight-loss.
– Positional Therapy alternatives and devices that are intended to position you, while sleeping, so that your airway is more likely to remain open.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Device

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure or CPAP is one of the more common tools used for sleep apnea treatment. The CPAP pump works by supplying pressurised air to your airways via a hose and face mask at a pressure high enough to keep your airway open. The actual pressure applied depends on the severity of your sleep apnea and is usually set by your sleep specialist after reviewing the results of your sleep study.

There are three basic types of masks, these being;
– Nasal pillows.
– Nasal mask.
– Full face mask.

Important considerations when selecting a CPAP mask are to ensure that the mask is comfortable, fits well and is the correct size and shape to ensure an effective seal against your nose or your face.


Oral Appliances for Sleep Apnea Treatment

The oral devices that are available work to either push the lower jaw forward or to prevent the tongue from falling back and blocking the airway or some combination of both of these. Your sleep specialist will generally assess whether you are suitable for use of one of these devices. The most common device is the Mandibular Advancement Device or MAD and it is often configured so that it can be adjusted by a dentist to move the jaw forward or back as necessary.

A study conducted by Dr Chul Hee Lee, M.D. and colleagues at Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea, evaluated 50 Korean patients (46 men and four women with an average age 50.2) who received a Mandibular Advancement Device. The study found that for the 50 cases, the MAD was considered to be a successful treatment in 37 patients (74 percent).

Surgery for Sleep Apnea

Surgery for sleep apnea treatment is sometimes conducted to create a more open airway. Not all sleep apnea cases are suitable for treatment by surgery and your sleep specialist will assess if surgery is appropriate for you. There are a number of different surgical procedures that are available and the suitability of any particular surgery for you will depend on the analysis of your sleep specialist or surgeon. The likely success of surgery can be difficult to predict and in some cases surgery has been known to actually increase the severity of existing conditions.

That said, a study of 60 obstructive sleep apnea patients (55 men and five women with an average age of 47.5) who between 2002 and 2006 underwent a surgical procedure, “Transpalatal Advancement Pharyngoplasty” has been published by Doctor’s Neville Patrick Shine, F.R.C.S. (O.R.L.-H.N.S.) of St. Johns Hospital, Edinburgh, Scotland, and Richard Hamilton Lewis, F.R.A.C.S., of Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Australia. The research considered that the surgery was successful in 38 of the 60 patients (63 percent) with sleep apnea being determined to have been completely cured in 21 patients (35 percent).

Choose Your Treatment Option

With the range of treatment options available for Obstructive Sleep Apnea you should discuss with your specialist the option that best suits you. It is likely that the best treatment will be a combination of lifestyle adjustments and one or more of the more physical techniques, usually the CPAP machine in the first instance.

Leave a Comment

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please type the characters of this captcha image in the input box

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.

Posted by admin and filed under | No Comments »

|