With all the available medical treatments for sleep apnea, the vast majority of cases still remain undiagnosed and untreated due to a lack of awareness. To further increase the awareness concerning sleep apnea, the American Sleep Apnea Association is looking for sleep apnea patients and encouraging them to share their concerns. This may be the best medication yet! The ASAA believes that, by promoting awareness among the sufferers themselves, they will be able to prevent more cases from going undiagnosed. This method was established to promote information effectively just like a homepage on the internet which provides “pop-up” boxes for inquiries, testimonials, and related stories. In the case of the ASAA plan, formerly treated patients will hopefully create “pop-up” diagnoses amongst their friends, family members or acquaintances who were previously undiagnosed. The diabetes society and cancer society, for example, use this same technique to promote awareness through their previously diagnosed patients.
Of course, like any other disease or health condition, medical research has come up with many forms of medication for sleep apnea. These medications are usually oral and they prevent and control muscle collapse in the throat which occurs during sleep. This is what causes airway blockage and then results in sleep apnea. It won’t be you who will determine the suitable treatment however! It is only your doctor who can determine which treatment will be best.
There are many medicated treatment plans for sleep apnea and one of the more famous and intriguing approaches that has shown great results is the “Pilar Procedure”. This procedure is carried out by placing three small woven inserts into the soft palate of the mouth. This reduces the vibrations that cause the snoring noise in sleep apnea patients. According to the FDA, this treatment is approved and is virtually pain free. About eighty percent of all patients suffering from sleep apnea and snoring have been satisfied with the comfortable effect of this approach. This is even true considering that it can be done in one simple office visit!
Treatment of the more mild cases of sleep apnea is often done through changes in lifestyle. These changes in lifestyle include avoiding medication that causes relaxation of the central nervous system such as sedatives and muscle relaxants. Instead, they incorporate the losing of weight, the quitting of smoking and the avoidance of alcohol. They also involve sleeping in a different position with the help of a special pillow. This pillow is a device that keeps you from sleeping on your back to keep the airway open during sleep. This tells us that good posture while sleeping contributes to the quality of sleep. The likes of a water bed or a good quality bed mattress, for instance, may also provide a comfortable and relaxing position that result in a deeper sleep.
Less fortunate individuals who suffer from a more severe case of sleep apnea are typically treated using air blowing machines called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (C-PAP) machines. This instrument blows air into the nose of the patient via a tube and a mask. For a more severe situation, another type of machine called a Bi-Level Machine (Bi-PAP) works by blowing two different pressures of air to help the lungs breathe in and out properly.
In cases where the modification of either the uvula or the dangling tissue at the rear of the throat is needed, uvulopalatopharygoplasty or UPPP is a form of surgery that can be carried out. In children, Adenotonsillectomy along with weight normalization is considered to be the first line of treatment. This procedure is characterized by the removal of tonsils and adenoids to increase the cross-sectional airway of the patient. Occasionally, medical procedures such as these only help the problem but do not totally eliminate it. Therefore, they must still be accompanied by a device like a C-PAP, nasal mask, face mask, gel mask or nasal pillow.
Keeping your healthy lifestyle and regaining your happy family life are the most significant reasons for seeking medical treatment for sleep apnea. Bear in mind that only a doctor can determine the causes and the type of the treatment which suits you best. It is up to you to seek out the proper diagnosis from a doctor and attend to this very serious problem of sleep apnea