Getting enough rest is a crucial ingredient for a healthy life. Unfortunately, statistics reveal that a significant percentage of our population does not get enough sleep due to sleep disorders such as insomnia, restless lung syndrome, sleep apnea, among others.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder whereby breathing is disrupted while the person sleeps. It is characterized by loud snoring, morning headaches, gasping for air in the middle of the night, excessive sleep during the day, etc. According to health experts, sleep apnea comes in three types; obstructive, central, and complex sleep apnea. Thankfully, it’s treatable.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
Sleep specialists recommend several methods (basic and technology-assisted) to help you steer clear of sleep apnea. This includes lifestyle changes to aid in weight management, reducing or avoiding alcohol intake, enrollment in yoga, using dehumidifiers, etc.
However, if the problem is deeply rooted, you might need a more advanced approach that involves machines. Here are some of the most effective and common sleep apnea treatment options available today.
Also called a continuous positive airway pressure machine, CPAP is one of the most common and most effective sleep apnea treatment methods. A CPAP machine is mainly used to help a person with obstructive sleep apnea manage the condition, breathe normally, and get better sleep. It works by pushing air consistently through a mask worn during sleep. This way, the affected person can enjoy a struggle-free night with little to no snoring and obstructions.
A CPAP machine comes with three essentials; a mask covering the mouth and nose, a mask that covers the nose only, and prongs that go into your nose. It works by increasing the air pressure inside your throat and lungs so that the airway does not collapse while you sleep. CPAP has a long list of benefits for people who use it 5-7 hours a day. For instance, it helps reduce snoring, improves the quality of sleep, and minimizing the risks of heart issues, among other advantages.
An adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV) machine tracks and regulates pressure to match the sleeping patterns of people diagnosed with sleep apnea. ASV machines can be categorized as viable alternatives for CPAP machines, with an added advantage. Unlike CPAP machines, they are also effective when it comes to managing obstructive and central sleep apnea.
An ASV machine works by alternating high pressure when one breathes in and low pressure when he/she breathes out. This helps the person’s lungs function more efficiently, meaning better sleep quality. Another advantage with ASV machines is that they monitor a person’s sleeping pattern. For instance, if you have a regular sleeping pattern, the machine will provide little support.
However, if you stop breathing for a moment in the middle of the night, the machine increases pressure, which helps you breathe more efficiently. ASV machines come with a mask that connects to the machine via a flexible hose.
A Bi-level positive airway pressure (BiPAP machine) is used in non-invasive ventilation therapy to help people suffering from sleep apnea and other conditions regain normal breathing during sleep. Like CPAP and ASV machines, BiPAP machines feature a mask worn over the mouth and nose, which connects to the machine through a tube.
A BiPAP machine has two settings for higher and lower air pressure. For instance, when a person breathes in, the machine raises the air pressure. When you breathe out, the machine lowers the air pressure.
Other Treatment Options
Machines are not the only way to minimize or eliminate sleep apnea. According to sleep specialists, you could try other simple methods at home without investing in machines. They include:
- Oral devices (mandibular advancement devices)
- Getting into a weight loss program
- Switching sleeping positions (positional therapy)
- Surgery for more severe cases
If you’re still unable to figure out the best treatment method for your apnea condition, visit a Metro Sleep clinic. This way, you can consult an experienced sleep specialist for a long-lasting solution.
Choosing the Right Treatment Option
Although living with sleep breathing disorders sounds manageable, it is not a good idea. Sleep disorders expose you to further risks, and you need to find a sleep clinic to help contain the situation and improve your sleep quality today.
Choosing the best treatment method for your condition should be left to a sleep specialist. Similarly, using machines to restore normal breathing patterns requires a respiratory specialist to set the device according to the recommended treatment plan. This way, you can have better nights, better sleep, and improved quality of life.