Treatment of Sleep Apnea by Dalyn Baker - HTML preview

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Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea treatment: Overview

If you suffer from sleep apnea then you will know that it is in fact a sleep disorder which often stops the breathing pattern during sleep. Each episode usually will last long enough to miss one or more breaths and these episodes will often happen throughout the period of sleep. If you suffer from sleep apnea or you think your partner might suffer from it, then you will know that it can be a scary disorder which can often frighten witnesses, although most sufferers don’t even know that it is happening to them. Sleep apnea usually isn’t a dangerous disorder, although it can lead to broken sleep which can make the sufferer cranky and moody and tired because they are not getting enough sleep.

Treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) includes:

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 Lifestyle changes,

 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

 Surgery.

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 apnea is.

In general, your doctor will have you try lifestyle changes and CPAP first.

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.