Sleep apnea can be treated in all sorts of different ways. There is a common misconception a CPAP machine is the sole means of treating sleep apnea. Many patients find CPAP machines to be obtrusive, noisy and generally uncomfortable.
Here is a look at some of the treatment options for sleep apnea
CPAP machines are the most common treatment modality for sleep apnea. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure device. This is a mask connected to a machine and placed over the nose and mouth to provide continuous air flow. This gentle transmission of air through the airway keeps it open as you sleep.
The steady stream of air allows for regular breathing while sleeping. This form of treatment is fairly effective for most patients as long as they use the CPAP machine that a medical professional recommends in the appropriate manner.
BPAP is an acronym that stands for bi-level positive airway pressure. BPAP is fairly similar to CPAP yet the air flow alters when the patient breathes in and out. Your doctor will help you determine if the BPAP machine is appropriate for your unique health.
While most patients are hesitant to go under the knife to remedy sleep apnea, surgery is sometimes necessary. People with enlarged tonsils, a deviated nasal septum or a diminutive lower jaw or an overbite that causes the throat to be overly-narrow, will find surgery to be a necessary procedure. Nasal surgery is one of the most common types of sleep apnea surgeries. This procedure corrects nasal issues like deviated septums.
Mandibular maxillomandibular advancement surgery is also available to correct facial issues or throat obstructions that are partially responsible for sleep apnea. Uvulopalatopharnygoplasty, also known as UPPPP, is a procedure that eliminates soft tissue along the rear portion of the throat and palate to boost the airway’s width at the throat’s opening.
It is also possible to perform minimally invasive procedures that decrease and tighten soft tissue on the soft palate. Such procedures prove highly effective for snoring treatment. However, there is still some question as to whether these minor surgeries can remedy or at least ameliorate the impact of sleep apnea on the natural sleep process and the human body.
Some people cannot use a CPAP machine. Others do not like the feel or noise of these machines. An implanted device known as Inspire is available for such patients. This device, known as an upper airway stimulator, consists of a diminutive pulse generator beneath the skin in the upper portion of the chest.
There is a wire that leads to the lungs to detect the patient’s natural breathing. A second wire, moving up to the neck, provides mild stimulation to nerves controlling airway muscles so they can remain open. A doctor can program the device with an external remote. People can even turn on the implanted devices prior to bedtime with a remote and turn it off when waking each morning.
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