Almost 7% of Americans suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. These mild hindrances you now feel during sleep can lead to disasters if left unchecked. Therefore, you should treat sleep apnea immediately after noticing the symptoms.
In this guide, we will discuss the top 10 sleep apnea treatment options and how to choose the right one for you. When it comes to sleep apnea treatments, keep in mind the following:
- The effectiveness of the treatment
- The severity of your sleep apnea
- Treatment duration
- Comfort & lifestyle changes that the treatment brings
- The overall cost of the treatment
10 Most Effective Options for Treating Sleep Apnea
While you will find a plethora of options if you want to look for sleep apnea treatments but generally, most of them are just some slight variations of the following treatments:
If you have mild sleep apnea that only occurs once a week or month, then you won’t have to go for drastic measures and can quickly treat your loud snoring through some lifestyle changes.
Now how do you measure that you have mild sleep apnea and not for some major cases like central sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea?
Well, the best practice is to visit sleep specialists and get a sleep study to discover all the details. You can also conclude about your condition by monitoring your normal breathing patterns before and after an episode of chronic snoring.
The lifestyle changes that you should bring must be targeted to lower the severity of common symptoms of sleep apnea. They should improve the muscle tone of your throat and reduce the overall inflammation in your airways.
Regular exercise targeted towards weight loss, removing alcohol consumption & sedatives, and removing smoking from daily activities are the most prominent changes that you should opt for.
Continuous positive airway pressure or commonly known as CPAP is a non-invasive treatment and the go-to solution for most sleep apnea cases.
A CPAP machine is utilized in this case. The primary function of this machine is to provide a regular stream of air pressure via a mask that will be worn by the patient when they are going to sleep.
This will keep the breathing disorder in check by keeping the airway open while you are sleeping. There are different sizes of masks for patients of different ages and conditions.
That being said, many don’t like to opt for the CPAP treatment option as it can be quite uncomfortable for both you and your partner.
Bi-level positive airway pressure treatment or Bi-PAP treatment is also a non-invasive sleep apnea treatment. This option is mainly preferred by those who don’t want to use CPAP machines. Those with severe OSA & central sleep apnea also opt for this treatment.
The Bi-PAP machine works in two ways. It provides air pressure when patients inhale and exhale. The air pressure is high during inhaling & low while exhaling. Advanced Bi-PAP machines also come with a pressure support system.
This system adjusts the air pressure according to the patient’s needs. For this reason, it often provides a much more comfortable experience than CPAP. Those with sleep disorders along with apnea will often be recommended to use Bi-PAP than any other treatment options.
That being said, Bi-PAP is also quite expensive and louder than CPAP therapy as it uses two different air pressure levels. It is recommended to go through a sleep test and consult the result with a specialist before starting this form of treatment.
For those who don’t want to put on a mask before they go to sleep, positional treatment can be one of the most effective treatments for sleep apnea.
The concept for this treatment is quite simple; the patient will sleep in a position that will allow air to flow naturally without facing troubles. This will happen because the airways will remain open while the patient sleeps.
This treatment is reserved for mild apnea & positional obstructive sleep apnea or POSA patients. While there are quite a few methods for this treatment, the most popular ones are the following:
- Specialized Pillows: These pillows are made so that you will be comfortable sleeping in a certain position. Some examples of this type of pillows are body pillows and wedge pillows. Side sleeping position is the key goal here.
- Wearable Devices: Backpacks that come with inflatable bladders or belts are also used so that a person doesn’t roll to a different position during their sleep.
- Behavioral Training: Lastly, behavioral training aims to create position treatment without the use of any equipment. It trains the mind to sleep in a certain way when the temperature is set in a manner or clothes are worn in a specific way.
- This field is still under development but is showing great potential, especially among younger patients.
Generally, positional treatment is an addition to CPAP or Bi-PAP, but if you have moderate sleep apnea, then going for this treatment can be the easiest way to get a good night’s sleep.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliances like mandibular advancement devices or mouthguards can help a person to keep their airway open while they sleep. Those who don’t want to attach equipment or device before they go to sleep usually prefer this option.
From moderate to severe, every type of patient can opt for this treatment. It can be a bit uncomfortable at first, but once the body gets adjusted to the oral appliance, there is a hindrance whatsoever.
Usually, a qualified dentist will take your mouth and teeth measurements with a sleep specialist present so that they can fashion a mouth guard or mandibular device that can help with your sleep apnea.
Dental sleep medicine is used, and most of the time, the patient remains unconscious during the mapping process. Once the dentist gets a layout, they will fashion a device that is unique to the patient’s teeth and mouth structure.
The oral device will help the soft palate and jaw and open up the upper airway so that you won’t stop breathing in the middle of your sleep.
This one is a variation of oral appliance treatment, but it primarily targets the jaw & tongue and repositions them in a way so the airways face no collapse or blockage.
The device is made with 3D imaging & CAD and is known for its comfort. That’s why many patients opt for this treatment rather than going for traditional oral appliance treatments. It is best for mild to moderate sleep apnea.
Vivos treatment is one of the most prominent sleep apnea treatments here at Sleep Apnea Treatment in Houston, Texas. Our specialists will conduct a thorough evaluation & only then determine which type of Vivos treatment will suit you the best.
So, get in touch with us immediately!
In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery ends up being the best option for the patients. Usually, nasal surgery or surgery on the enlarged tonsils is required. The most common type of surgeries that are done against sleep apnea are UPPP, Hyoid Suspension, and Genioglossus Advancement.
Keep in mind that surgeries should be regarded as the last option when all the other treatments bore no results.
Weight Loss Treatment
Sometimes the main reason behind this is weight gain. If that is the case, then going through weight loss treatment and surgery can drastically reduce the effectiveness of sleep apnea.
If the patient is obese and showing signs of congestive heart failure and high blood pressure, then doctors will often suggest taking care of the weight issue.
Surgeries like sleeve gastrectomy or gastric bypass are usually what doctors opt for. As a reminder, surgery isn’t always the first option for weight loss. If all the other means have failed, only then should you pick up the thoughts of weight loss surgery.
Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation
This is a new treatment option for sleep apnea, and it revolves around implanting a tiny device under the neck. As the name suggests, the purpose of this device is to stimulate the Hypoglossal nerve; this nerve is responsible for our tongue movement.
So, if air can’t pass through due to our tongue blocking the entrance, then this treatment is the best option out there. Most patients with moderate obstructive sleep apnea who can’t bear CPAP opt for this option.
This treatment method is relatively new and has only been opted for in unique cases. But studies support that acupuncture can actually help by reducing inflammation along with hormonal imbalances.
A study conducted in 2018 supports this claim; click here to learn more. That being said, more research needs to be done on this matter in order to promote acupuncture for severe cases of sleep apnea.
If you are thinking of going through with acupuncture, then make sure you’re doing this at a sleep center with proper experience & valid medical insurance.
Last but not least, if you don’t want to take the trouble of devices and machines, then you can start with sleep medications that tackle daytime sleepiness and calm the nerves at night.
This is only applicable if you are only suffering from moderate sleep apnea. Seeking advice from a professional is a must. Some medications can have adverse effects on the body. So your medical history, along with your family history, will need to be looked over too.
How to Determine the Best Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment Near Me
There are a lot of factors that you will need to consider when you are picking a treatment center to tackle your sleep apnea. While it will always come down to personal preferences, here are a few things that you should consider when picking a sleep apnea treatment:
When picking a center for treatment, look into how committed they are to their patients. See the additional services you will get and whether or not it is actually beneficial to you or just something to fill their web pages.
Services like home sleep test availability, expert consultation, and follow-ups after initial contact are the ones you should look out for.
Reviews from Patients
Get in touch with as many patients as possible before taking a sleep apnea treatment. This way, you will find patients who share a similar fate as yours and will easily find out which treatment worked for them and which service provider did it the best.
Consult with Healthcare Professionals
Get in touch with healthcare professionals living in your area and also the ones who are well-known for their craft. Share your details, and they will be able to guide you to better treatment options.
Or ask them to pick the best out of your shortlisted treatment options and provider.
Pay A Physical Visit & Set Up A Meeting
Get in touch with professionals directly, see the facilities, and talk about your issues. Going to a consultation session is always helpful for any treatment. This will allow you to get a first-hand idea of what the treatment will be and how it will be handled.
Ask every question that pops into your mind, from health problems to mood swings. Don’t hide anything.
Look for Success & Certifications
Find out if the treatment center you are hoping to sign up for is board certified or not. What is their success rate with a particular treatment, and compare that with the global success rate of the same treatment?
This will allow you to draw a far better conclusion.
Why You Shouldn’t Leave Sleep Apnea Untreated
You might be thinking a bit of loud snoring never hurts anyone, so why go through all this trouble to find treatment options for sleep apnea? But you are wrong.
If you don’t treat sleep apnea as soon as possible, you will risk the chance of having lower oxygen levels & oxygen saturation in your sleep. This can lead to throat collapses, heart disease, brain failure, and even death.
So, make sure to get diagnosed as soon as possible if you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea yourself!
Finding the right treatment for your sleep apnea can seem a daunting task at first. But instead of reviewing a multitude of options, consider the mentioned ten treatments, and we guarantee you that one of them will suit you perfectly.
Just keep in mind that defeating sleep apnea requires dedication & care. So, it is better to take proper medical care instead of picking the easiest or the cheapest option. Stay committed, and you will get rid of the negative aspects of this condition in no time.