Research shows that more than one-third of Americans do not get the prescribed amounts of sleep, which is an obvious sign of sleep apnea. Sleep deprivation can cause various serious health complications, including depression, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. One of the primary reasons for bad sleeping is sleep apnea, which causes a disturbance in the breathing pattern while sleeping.
However, various sleep apnea treatments are available, including a few innovative ones that can help reduce sleep apnea symptoms. Let us take a look at some of these new and innovative sleep apnea treatments!
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when your throat muscles relax considerably, allowing the soft tissues to block your airway. Various innovative versions of CPAP machines are now in store that push a continuous stream of air through a silicone mask that you need to wear while sleeping.
The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) keeps your airways open, helping you snore less and sleep considerably better.
Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP) Machine
Bi-level positive airway pressure machines, abbreviated as BPAP or BiPAP, resemble CPAP machines in their functioning: they direct a stream of air through your airways to keep them open constantly.
However, unlike CPAP, BiPAP does not direct a constant and continuous pressure at all times. Since some people face difficulties exhaling while wearing a CPAP mask, BiPAP lowers pressure when breathing out.
Adapto-servo Ventilation Machines (ASV) and Variable Positive Airway Pressure (VPAP) Machines
Adapto servo ventilation machines (ASV) adjust the airflow according to a person’s breathing and are thus adaptable, unlike CPAP and BiPAP. The variable positive airway pressure machine, abbreviated as VPAP, allows varying levels of air during the breathing process.
Since getting comfortable with CPAP or BiPAP machines can seem daunting, ASV machines are more convenient. However, it is advisable to consult your sleep specialist about which option may prove the most suitable for you.
Oral Appliances (MADs)
PAP machines may seem difficult to adjust to but are highly reliable at treating sleep apnea. However, some people prefer using oral appliances – also known as mandibular advancement devices (MADs) – instead of wearing masks all night long. These appliances are like mouthpieces and can adjust your jaw to open your airways. Some of them hold your tongue in place. You can get a custom-made mouthpiece designed by your sleep specialist or dentist or opt for available over-the-counter options.
Upper Airway Stimulation
Upper airway stimulation (UAS) is another innovative sleep apnea treatment. UAS is a tiny electrical device similar to a heart pacemaker and is placed in the chest below the skin and above the ribs. It contains an electrode that connects to a nerve controlling the tongue muscles, and thus a small electrical charge easily stimulates the tongue while sleeping, clearing the airways and making breathing easier.
Surgery is considered the last resort and is undertaken only when all sleep apnea treatments fail to bring about the desired results. The most common surgery is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, where surgeons remove the soft tissue from the back of the soft palate. They may also remove your tonsils and the uvula, the soft mass of tissue hanging on the back of your throat. Some other kinds of surgeries may include some other soft tissues restricting the airways, nose, or jawbones.
Other Ways of Fighting Sleep Apnea
There are several traditional sleep apnea treatments, as well, that usually work best in acute cases. Some studies suggest that exercising regularly can help individuals with sleep apnea sleep better, as sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medications can worsen sleep apnea symptoms. Let us look at some of the traditional sleep apnea treatment options:
Cutting down on alcohol
Several studies shed light on the direct relationship between sleep apnea and alcohol. Drinking before sleeping can aggravate sleep apnea, as alcohol can cause the airways to narrow, rendering sleep apnea episodes considerably longer.
Switching positions while sleeping
It is common for a majority of people who sleep on their backs to snore and face difficulties with sleep apnea. Positional therapy can help in this regard by getting you to sleep in different positions.
You can also try it out at home: by tying something uncomfortable on your back, like a sock containing a tennis ball on the back of your trousers, to prompt you to sleep on the side. Some positional devices are also available that vibrate softly to remind you to sleep on your side.
Extensive research has found a relationship between obesity and sleep apnea. Fat deposits in your airways can constrict them, restricting airflow and preventing the airway muscles from performing their work. Attention to diet, continuous exercise, and even medication can help lose weight and treat sleep apnea at the same time.
If you want professional sleep apnea treatment, head to SleepRx right now to book an online appointment with certified sleep apnea specialists at the minimum possible cost!