Understanding Your Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

When you have been feeling tired all of the time no matter how much you seem to sleep, you may be equally surprised and relieved to find out that the cause of your troubles is sleep apnea. The relief comes just from knowing the reason that you have been feeling so off-kilter and from the fact that with a diagnosis, you will be able to begin a treatment program. Get to know some of the treatment options available to you for your sleep apnea so that you can begin getting a good night's sleep every night and having the energy to get through your daily activities.

Use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Machine

One of the most popular treatments for sleep apnea is the nightly use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine (also commonly referred to as a CPAP machine). This machine is a small device that can be set on an end table or night stand. Attached to the machine component is a long plastic tube that ends in a face mask (or sometimes just a nasal mask) that you will wear while you sleep.

The CPAP machine works by pumping air through your nasal airway. This positive flow of air into your mouth and/or nose keeps your airway from becoming obstructed or closed while you are sleeping. Using the CPAP machine can prevent you from repeatedly waking up throughout the night due to the closure of your airway that occurs as a result of sleep apnea. If you live with other people, they may also benefit from you using a CPAP machine as it can eliminate snoring.

Sleep Apnea Surgery

If the CPAP machine does not work for you or is uncomfortable and keeps you awake at night, then you may benefit from a surgical sleep apnea procedure. The exact type of surgery performed for sleep apnea depends on your precise throat and nasal anatomy.

Sometimes, nasal congestion caused by growths in the nasal passages or structural blockages or abnormalities can cause sleep apnea. However, more often, the issue is with the middle or back areas of the throat. The surgical sleep apnea procedure will be customized to create a larger airway and a more stable airway that will not collapse when you are sleeping.

Another surgical procedures that is still going through studies and clinical trials is an implant surgery to treat sleep apnea. This involves implanting a device that functions like a pacemaker but for the tongue. The implant senses the rhythm of your breathing and the contractions of your throat muscles and helps to control the tongue to keep it from blocking the airway while you sleep. While still in the early stages of research, the studies are promising, and this treatment may be more readily available in the near future.

Now that you know more about a few of the sleep apnea treatments that are available to you, you can talk to your doctor and find a treatment option that works best for you. Once you get your treatment process started, you can begin feeling more energized and well-rested.