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Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured Completely

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Make Sure Your Mask Fits Correctly

Can Sleep Apnea be Cured? Managing Sleep Apnea | theSITREP

When it comes to CPAP therapy, one size does not fit all. Its very important to get a mask that fits correctly and is comfortable for you.

There are many different types of masks available, including ones that cover the full face and ones that cover only the nose. Masks also come in a range of sizes, to accommodate different face shapes. There are also options that allow you to sleep in any position, accommodate glasses, and stay on if you toss and turn.

Be sure to discuss your options with your doctor and schedule follow-up appointments to check the fit, evaluate your treatment progress, and adjust or switch your mask if necessary.

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Will Treating Sleep Apnea Help You Lose Weight

Evidence suggests that OSA patients who effectively manage their sleep apnea may find it easier to lose weight. In one study, ghrelin levels were higher in OSA patients than in people without OSA of the same body mass but fell to comparable levels after two days of using CPAP treatment.

Conflictingly, long-term use of CPAP, the most effective sleep apnea treatment, has been associated with weight gain in some studies. However, the reasons for this association are unclear, and more research is needed. Given the complexity of weight and sleep apnea treatment, overweight patients should not solely rely on CPAP therapy or apnea treatments as their sole means of weight control.

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Areas Of Brain Damaged By Sleep Apnea

We know that sleep apnea can cause brain damage, but how much damage can it actually cause? Sleep apnea can actually affect several different regions in the brain, leading to widespread brain damage.

There are five common areas of the brain that are damaged by sleep apnea.

1. Mammillary bodies: Mammillary bodies are actually located on the underside of the brain. They are associated with memory. They can be up to 20% smaller in people with sleep apnea. Damage to mammillary bodies can result in memory loss and forgetfulness.

2. Hippocampus: The hippocampus is not only one of the regions damaged in Alzheimers disease but it can also be damaged by sleep apnea. This region of the brain is responsible for processing information and memory.

3. Cerebellum: The cerebellum is responsible for controlling motor coordination and blood pressure regulation. It can also play a part in language, attention, and other cognitive functions.

4. Insular cortex: The insular cortex is responsible for wide-ranging cognitive functions. It plays a part in regulating our nervous system and controls our pain receptors. It also plays a role in our emotions and mood, affecting how we feel.

5. Ventrolateral medulla: This region of the brain regulates our blood pressure. When it is damaged, the result can be cardiac problems, including heart arrhythmia, problems with heart rate rhythm, and other potentially serious symptoms.

Does The Method Of Weight Loss Matter For Sleep Apnea

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When embarking on a lifestyle change, many sleep apnea patients want to know what method is best for weight loss. With so many options to choose from, its hard to know where to start.

Fad diets are never a good idea for long-term weight loss.

The best methods include dietary changes, increases in physical activities, medication, and weight-loss surgeries.

A first-line treatment often prescribed for obese patients is changing diet and exercise routines. Surgical or pharmacological intervention is then considered for patients who need to lose a considerable amount of weight or who arent successful in achieving adequate weight loss through behavior modification.

Even just exercising alone has been shown to improve sleep apnea symptoms, even without considerable weight loss.

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Transvenous Phrenic Nerve Stimulation

An implant that electrically stimulates the phrenic nerve is available as a treatment for moderate to severe CSA. The phrenic nerve connects to the diaphragm, so phrenic nerve stimulation helps regulate breathing. This implant is customized to each individual to ensure the right amount of stimulation. Studies show that people with CSA who receive PNS experience fewer lapses in breathing each night, along with less daytime tiredness and improved mental health.

How Do Doctors Treat Sleep Apnea

There are several different treatments that can be used for sleep apnea. The most common treatment option is using a CPAP machine at night. CPAP stands for constant positive airway pressure and this machine will help to keep your airways open and improve your breathing at night by constantly providing air to your mouth and nose as you sleep.

There are also other effective treatment options that can be used if you cant use a CPAP machine. These treatments for sleep apnea can include:

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Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnoea In Children

Large tonsils and adenoids can block the throat during sleep and cause snoring. In some cases, this is bad enough to cause obstructive sleep apnoea .

The more severe your childs OSA is, the more likely it is that removing the tonsils and adenoids will help improve their health and quality of life.

Tonsillectomy for sleep apnoea is considered if your child usually breathes noisily during sleep and has at least 2 of these other related problems when they are not sick:

  • Struggling to breathe while asleep.
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep.
  • Gasping or choking during sleep.
  • Persistent daytime mouth breathing.
  • Daytime tiredness, concentration or behaviour problems not related to other causes.

Two out of three children with mild sleep apnoea get better over 6 months without surgery. If your child is young, you may wish to wait 6 months before deciding whether surgery is an option.

If you are unsure, you may like to read this fact sheet by Safer Care Victoria which can help you make an informed decision about tonsillectomy with the support of your childs doctor.

Safer Care Victoria has also developed several personal story videos and fact sheets on tonsil surgery for families. These include:

How Is Sleep Apnoea Diagnosed


If you think you or someone you know has the signs and symptoms of sleep apnoea, see a GP. If your GP suspects you may have sleep apnoea, you may be referred to a sleep specialist.

Depending on their examination and assessment, your GP or sleep physician may arrange for you to have a sleep study.

A sleep study is a medical test used to diagnose a range of sleep disorders including sleep apnoea. A sleep study looks at what you do when you go to sleep. Most sleep studies measure:

  • brain signals
  • oxygen levels in the blood
  • sleep position and limb movements
  • heart rate
  • breathing and snoring.

You will be attached to a portable machine and monitoring leads will be placed on your body to track your sleep throughout the night.

Sleep studies can be done at home or by staying overnight in a special sleep clinic and are provided in public and private health services.

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How Do Doctors Diagnose Sleep Apnea

If you believe that you have sleep apnea please talk to your doctor or healthcare provider. They can help you get a diagnosis and treatment for sleep apnea.

Your doctor can listen to your symptoms to help determine if you have sleep apnea. Your doctor can also do a physical exam and check your health history for more information about your risk factors. There are also some tests that can be done to help diagnose sleep apnea. These tests can include:

Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation Or Upper Airway Stimulation

Hypoglossal nerve stimulation involves surgically implanting a device that feeds an electrical current to the tongue, causing it to stiffen or move forward and help clear the airway. This procedure can be conducted as outpatient surgery, and the voltage released by the device can be adjusted to the amount required to reduce symptoms in a given individual.

Some studies have shown HNS treatment is successful in more than 80% of cases, and many who receive it prefer it to CPAP therapy. There are several types of HNS implants available, and research suggests different types carry different success rates.

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What Is A Cpap Device And How Does It Work

A CPAP device is a machine that uses a hose and airtight nosepiece or mask to deliver a steady stream of air as you sleep. The air pressure helps keep your airway open, preventing pauses in breathing.

CPAP technology is constantly being updated and improved, and the new CPAP devices are lighter, quieter, and more comfortable than they used to be. So even if youve given up on them in the past, you owe it to yourself to give them a second look.

Quitting Smoking And Sleep Apnea

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In a hallmark 2014 study, researchers found that smoking raises the risk of developing sleep apnea. If you decide to quitcongratulations, first of all! Secondly, quitting itself isnt necessarily a cure, but it can certainly help.

If you do smoke and get poor sleep, its likely you are able to mask the symptoms of poor sleep through nicotine. Nicotine is a stimulant, so a few cigarettes a day will give you an extra energy boost in the same way a cup of coffee would, and you can hide those symptoms of poor sleep. Coffee has its pros and cons as they relate to sleep, but smokings overall impact on your respiratory system makes it worse for your sleeping. Smoking narrows your airway because of the swelling of tissues and mucus. Stopping can help because smoking makes blood oxygen level drops worse due to lung damage. These drops are slowed down when you stop smoking.

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How Being Overweight Causes Sleep Apnea

The most common health condition linked to the development of sleep apnea is excess weight or obesity. When a person gains weight, they gain it everywhere in their body, including the neck.

This creates excess fat deposits called pharyngeal fat that can block the upper airway in a relaxed state or when a person is asleep. Its the same physiological process as snoring, where the airway is narrowed and the air being squeezed through a partially blocked airway makes loud noises.

In the case of sleep apnea, the airway becomes completely blocked for short periods of time.

The other factor involved is an increase in abdominal girth, which compresses the chest wall and decreases overall lung capacity. When lung capacity decreases, there is a lower airflow volume, and the upper airway is more likely to collapse.

The correlation between body mass index and sleep apnea is direct. As BMI increases, so does the risk of developing sleep apnea. A 10% increase in BMI results in a six-fold increase in sleep apnea risk.

While there are other causes for sleep apnea, like enlarged tonsils, lung diseases, and endocrine disorders, weight is the one cause that can be managed.

Dont Wait To Seek Care

When it comes to sleep and weight, early intervention is key for preventing harm and reclaiming quality of life. With adequate treatment, sleep apnea carries an excellent prognosis. And its never too late, or too early, to take an active approach to weight control. If you think you may have sleep apnea, its important to see a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and tailored treatment options.

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What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea occurs when:

  • Your throat muscles and tongue relax during sleep and partially or completely block the airways in your nose, mouth, or throat.
  • Bone deformities or enlarged tissues block your airways. For example, you may have enlarged tonsils. During the day when you are awake and standing up, this may not cause problems. But when you lie down at night, the tonsils can press down on your airway, narrowing it and causing sleep apnea.

Other things that make sleep apnea more likely include:

  • Taking certain medicines or drinking alcohol before bed.
  • Sleeping on your back.

UPPP: Your doctor may suggest UPPP if:

  • Your condition is easy to fix, such as very large tonsils.
  • You choose not to useâor cannot useâCPAP to treat your sleep apnea.
  • You have tried CPAP, but it hasn’t helped.

Maxillo-mandibular advancement and radiofrequency ablation: Your doctor may recommend one of these other surgical treatments if:

  • You choose not to useâor cannot useâCPAP to treat your sleep apnea.
  • Oral breathing devices or other types of devices that you wear while you sleep have not worked for you.
  • Other forms of surgery are not right for you.

Tracheostomy: Your doctor may recommend tracheostomy if:

  • You have severe sleep apnea.
  • Other treatments have failed.
  • Other forms of surgery are not right for you.

Avoid Alcohol And Sleeping Pills

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If you have trouble sleeping, try a cup of decaffeinated herbal tea or juice instead of unwinding with a glass of wine. Alcohol and certain medications can make throat muscles relax more than normal. As a result, airways can get blocked. Alcohol and medications can also make it harder for your brain to “wake up” and register a lack of oxygen in the body. This can cause longer and more serious pauses in breathing. If you find it hard to fall asleep, try reading a book or taking a warm bath.

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Does Weight Loss Method Matter In Osa

With several options for losing weight, many OSA patients want to know which one is best for sleep apnea. Some of the best weight loss methods include:

  • Dietary changes
  • Medications
  • Surgery

Doctors usually prescribe dietary and exercise interventions as a first-line treatment for obesity. Obese patients who are unlikely or unable to achieve adequate weight loss through behavior modifications may consider pharmacological or surgical interventions. There is evidence that behavioral modification is just as effective as certain weight-loss surgeries in improving OSA. Encouragingly, exercise alone can modestly improve the severity of OSA, even without significant weight loss.

Regardless of technique, OSA improvement is proportional to the amount of weight lost. Therefore, patients should discuss with their doctor which weight loss strategy is best-suited to their personal circumstances, overall health, and their OSA severity.

Snoring: Sleep Apnea Warning Sign

Since sleep apnea occurs while you are sleeping, it is common to not realize that you have the condition. The most common warning sign of sleep apnea is snoring. In fact, snoring can be a serious sign of severe sleep apnea, particularly when it results in waking up, choking, or gasping. If you have a history of snoring or feel tired or unrefreshed after sleep, you could be suffering from sleep apnea and there is the possibility that you could have some brain damage. It is important to see a physician if you have any of these symptoms.

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Sleep Apnea And Weight

According to research, there seems to be a significant correlation between obesity and sleep apnea. Indeed, you may be more likely to suffer from an issue like this if you are overweight. Although not every patient who is obese will suffer from sleep apnea. Similarly, not every sleep apnea patient will be overweight. That said, if you are overweight, you should consider getting a physical examination. This will determine whether weight loss could help you. Typically, this will include measuring the circumference of the neck. Generally speaking, a circumference of 17 inches or higher in men and 16 inches in women will lead to a far greater chance of sleep apnea.

Key Points To Remember

Heavy snoring can be a very challenging situation to deal ...
  • It’s important to treat obstructive sleep apnea, because sleep apnea makes you more likely to have high blood pressure, depression, irregular heart rhythms, heart failure, coronary artery disease, and stroke.
  • Your doctor will probably have you try lifestyle changes and CPAP first. Surgery might be a choice if you have tried and cannot tolerate CPAP. Or you might have surgery to improve an airway blockage so that you can tolerate CPAP better.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty surgery may reduce sleep apnea and snoring for some people. But apnea episodes and snoring may return over time. You may still need CPAP after surgery.
  • The surgery called tracheostomy almost always cures sleep apnea that is caused by blockage of the upper airway. But other treatments work almost as well in most people. And the surgery can cause many complications.
  • Other types of surgery that may be used to treat sleep apnea include:
  • Maxillo-mandibular advancement, which moves the upper and lower jaw forward to increase the size of the airway.
  • Radiofrequency ablation, which reduces the size of the tongue or other tissue that may be blocking airflow to the lungs.
  • Nerve stimulation. A device is implanted in the upper chest. It senses the breathing pattern and mildly stimulates the airway muscles to keep the airway open.
  • If you are very overweight, bariatric surgery may help you lose weight. Losing weight may improve your sleep apnea.
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