Treatment of Sleep Apnea
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) (to prevent the airway
from closing during sleep),
Use of dental devices (oral breathing devices) to help keep your airway
open, medicine to help you stay awake during the day
The goals of treatment are to relieve symptoms such as snoring and
excessive daytime sleepiness and prevent other problems, such as high blood
pressure. Your doctor will base your treatment on how severe your sleep
Surgery might be a first choice only if the sleep apnea is caused by a
blockage that is easily fixed.
You may need to be treated for other health problems before you are treated
for sleep apnea. For example, people who also have inflammation of the
nasal passages (rhinitis) may need to use nose spray to reduce the
inflammation. People who have an underactive thyroid gland
(hypothyroidism) need to take thyroid medicine.
Children have the same treatment options as adults. But surgery
(tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy) typically is the first choice because
enlarged tonsils or adenoids cause most cases of sleep apnea in children. If
surgery is not possible or does not work, children are treated using CPAP.
The first treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) consists of making
lifestyle changes. Your sleep apnea may be helped if you:
Lose weight (if needed).
o Small studies have shown that losing weight decreases the
number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that
a reduced amount of air enters your lungs (hypopnea). Experts
agree that weight loss should be part of managing sleep apnea.
Wake up at the same time every morning.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea Page 12 of 49