Can Sleep Apnea Be Permanently Treated Or Cured
The term cure evokes the idea of a final resolution of a health problem, but when it comes to sleep apnea, cure is relative. This is because sleep apnea is a lifetime condition and therefore you cannot get rid of it permanently. You can, however, reduce the symptoms like snoring and other associated problems.
Sleep apnea is when breathing stops and starts when you are sleeping, which disrupts the oxygen supply to the brain. Sleep apnea is dived into obstructive, central, and complex sleep apnea.
- Obstructive sleep apnea
OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea and it occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat relax. This narrows the airways, making it hard to breathe and get enough air. The brain will sense the disruption of oxygen flow and force you to awaken to open up the airways. This happens several times during the night, and you may not remember the occurrence. However, you will have tiredness in the morning because of it.
The obstruction of the airways also causes snoring, choking, and gasping of air.
Apart from having poor sleep quality, you will have daytime drowsiness, forgetfulness, headaches, and feeling grumpy.
- Central sleep apnea
Central sleep apnea is also pausing in breathing when you are sleeping. Unlike the OSA, the disruption in breathing is caused by a lack of respiratory muscle activation by the brain. You may wake up suddenly with shortness of breath or have difficulty staying asleep.
- Complex sleep apnea
Can Losing Weight Cure Sleep Apnea
Obesity and sleep apnea are connected in some ways, therefore, they must be treated and together given the required attention. Avoid positions and problems that will lead to sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea increases incessant heart attacks, irregular heartbeats, and stroke, it also increases the risk of hypertension, which is high blood pressure.
The symptoms of Sleep Apnea are Sleepiness, Snoring, Gasping, Excessive daytime sleepiness, stopped breathing during sleep, gasping or choking, Morning headache, dry mouth, or sore throat.
The sufferers of sleeping Apnea, wake up frequently at night and may have the reason to use the bathroom incessantly.
It may be associated with coughing which can be very uncomfortable, your stomach might feel full, and your inability to sleep well. There are different causes of sleep apnea, including stress, genetics, obesity, and injury to the neck. Victims are most times awakened many times at night due to their inability to have a normal sleeping pattern.
A doctors prescription can help relieve the symptoms of sleeping apnea as a sleeping disorder itself is not a disease but a serious disorder all the same.
As the airways get blocked, it causes pausing for the period and duration that the airway blocking lasts. This is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea in medical parlance.
Getting Tested For Sleep Apnoea
If a GP thinks you might have sleep apnoea, they may refer you to a specialist sleep clinic for tests.
At the clinic, you may be given devices that check things like your breathing and heartbeat while you sleep.
You’ll be asked to wear these overnight so doctors can check for signs of sleep apnoea.
You can usually do this at home, but sometimes you may need to stay in the clinic overnight.
The test can show if you have sleep apnoea and how severe it is. This is based on how often your breathing stops while you sleep .
Your AHI score shows how severe your sleep apnoea is:
- AHI of 5 to 14 mild
- AHI of 15 to 30 moderate
- AHI over 30 severe
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Degrees Of Severity Of Sleep Apnoea
The severity of sleep apnoea depends on how often your breathing is interrupted. As a guide:
- normal sleep fewer than 5 interruptions per hour
- mild sleep apnoea between 5 and 15 interruptions per hour
- moderate sleep apnoea between 15 and 30 interruptions per hour
- severe sleep apnoea more than 30 interruptions per hour.
Weight Loss As Treatment
Excess weight is well known to be linked to sleep apnea. People who have extra weight are also likely to have extra tissue towards the back of the throat, which can impede the airway, blocking air flow into the lungs during sleep. Though weight loss can be very challenging for people with excess weight, very effective results can be achieved just by losing weight. Overweight people have a much higher risk of developing sleep apnea and other heart issues such as heart disease. A 10% loss in body weight can greatly decrease symptoms of sleep apnea. In certain cases, significant weight loss is even able to cure the condition.
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Helping Your Sleep Apnea Go Away
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, its important to realize that effective treatment options exist, and that there is hope for getting restful sleep again. At the Jacksonville Sleep Center, we specialize in helping patients across Northeast Florida get the great sleep they need! We offer the latest options for diagnosis, assessment, and treatment for all sleep disorders. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, our physicians and team of specialists would love to help. Contact us today to learn more and set up an appointment!
Home Sleep Apnea Tests
This is a much-simplified version of the polysomnogram test.
As its name connotes, this is a modified form of sleep evaluation that can be done at home. Ideal for those who are not comfortable sleeping in an unfamiliar setting, with specialists watching you as you sleep. It monitors your heart rate, blood oxygen level, breathing pattern, and airflow. It records less variables than the PSG, but it is sufficient data to diagnose obstructive sleep apnea.
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Is There A Sleep Apnea Cure
Is there a sleep apnea cure? For central sleep apnea: No. For obstructive sleep apnea: possibly surgery , though its highly invasive, requires a special plug or tube to talk normally, and other harmful potential side effects common to any surgery. While this was the primary treatment for severe OSA before CPAP was invented, today its usually only used in very severe cases that cannot be otherwise treated, due to its risks and life-altering nature. 1
Aside from surgery, there are many falsely labeled cures that will not solve your OSA, though they may help reduce your OSA symptoms. You should talk with your doctor about the pros and cons of each. And always ask your doctor before trying any sort of medical treatment, homeopathic or otherwise.
How To Cure Sleep Apnea With Rfa Treatment
- Relieves the potential for airway blockage that causes the snoring, breathing disruption, and lack of a good nights sleep that are associated with untreated OSA.
- Patients suffering from mild to moderate OSA can often get rid of their CPAP masks forever.
- In some cases, and especially with more severe OSA, the treatment can make using a CPAP mask more tolerable, due to lower air pressure settings required after the procedure.
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Avoid Alcohol And Smoking
Alcohol relaxes the throat muscles that control your breathing. This can lead to snoring and an interrupted sleep cycle. It can also lead to inflammation in your airways, blocking your airflow.
Similar to alcohol, tobacco use can also contribute to inflammation and swelling in your airways. This can worsen your snoring and your sleep apnea.
A identified smoking as a risk factor for developing sleep apnea. The study noted that people with sleep apnea may have a predisposition to smoking as well, so treating sleep apnea may help in quitting smoking.
Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured It Is Not A One Size Fits All Answer
While sleep apnea may not necessarily be able to be cured, The Mayo Clinic describes the basics of each of the four primary treatment recommendations. Those four treatments are:
- Weight Loss People who are overweight and obese are at higher risk for OSA. The link between excess weight and sleep apnea is well established. People who are overweight have extra tissue in the back of their throat, which can fall down over the airway and block the flow of air into the lungs while they sleep. Even a slight loss in excess weight may help relieve constriction of your throat. Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, losing a significant amount of weight can even cure the condition.
- CPAP This method involves wearing a pressurized mask over your nose while you sleep and is typically the first OSA treatment option recommended by a physician. Some people find CPAP cumbersome and / or uncomfortable. CPAP works wellbut not everyone who needs it is willing to commit to wearing the clunky apparatus. Half or more of people who try CPAP dont stick with the treatment, research has found.
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Is It More Difficult To Lose Weight
You might have heard reports that sleep apnea makes it more difficult to lose weight. This is due to the fact that it slows down your metabolism and in some cases, may mean that you wont be able to lose weight at all. Research does suggest that this is the case. Thats why its essential to make sure that you are taking steps to control your sleep apnea before you start making commitments to try and lose weight. Your ENT will be able to help you with this option and ensure that you get the best possible chance at seeing results. There are a range of different treatment options for sleep apnea.
The most common is going to be CPAP or continuous positive airway pressure. This is usually completed using a machine that can be set up close to your bed. Losing weight may be more difficult because of the pressure that the condition puts on your body. This includes insulin resistance, increases in blood pressure and glucose intolerance.
In some instances, an ENT may recommend surgery to ensure that it is easier for you to lose weight.
Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea
For treatment of obstructive sleep apnea experts continue to encourage lifestyle changes – most importantly, weight loss.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious disorder causing a persons airway to become blocked while sleeping. This blockage interrupts breathing often dozens of times in one night. Obstructive sleep apnea can put a person at risk for other serious conditions, as well, including stroke and hypertension.
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Diagnosis And Tests For Sleep Apnea
If you think you have sleep apnea based on the symptoms presented above, it is best to consult a doctor to diagnose and treat your sleep disorder. The doctor can make a proper evaluation based on the symptoms you have and information provided by someone who shares your bed or your household.
Most likely, the next step would be to refer you to a sleep specialist for further evaluation. There are sleep evaluation tests administered to diagnose if you have sleep apnea objectively.
Some tests to accurately detect sleep apnea include:
What Is The Treatment For Central Sleep Apnea
The key to treating central sleep apnea is addressing any underlying health issues that are causing the condition. The type of treatment for central sleep apnea depends on the category and subtype of central sleep apnea. For example, steps may be taken to mitigate congestive heart failure. Those on opioids or other respiratory-depression medications may gradually reduce and taper off the medications. If at high altitude, the individual can trek back to sea level. In many cases, focusing on the coexisting problem can relieve or eliminate abnormal breathing during sleep.
For many patients with central sleep apnea, the use of CPAP or BiPAP machines can decrease cessations in respiration. Supplemental oxygen may be used in a similar way.
In 2017, the Food and Drug Administration approved an implantable device that stimulates breathing-related muscles as a treatment for CSA. This treatment has shown promise in improving breathing and sleep quality in some research studies.
Depending on a persons situation, a combination of treatments may be used in order to best address their symptoms. A healthcare provider with a specialty in sleep medicine would be best to review the benefits and side effects of various treatment options for central sleep apnea.
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First What All Types Of Sleep Apnea Have In Common
Because these awakenings are typically very brief, the person with sleep apnea may not even be aware that they are experiencing interrupted sleep. But the episodes can wreak havoc on the sleep cycle and prevent the person with sleep apnea from reaching the deep, restful phases of sleep. And thats why people who have sleep apnea can experience significant exhaustion and drowsiness the next day, despite getting what they thought was a full night of sleep.
Other Treatment Options For Sleep Apnea
- Somnoplasty. Procedures done in your doctorâs office can shrink and stiffen the tissue of your soft palate.
- Upper airway stimulation . If you canât use a CPAP, you might get a device called Inspire. Itâs an upper airway stimulator. Your doctor puts a small pulse generator under the skin on your upper chest. A wire that goes to your lung detects your natural breathing pattern. Another wire up to your neck sends mild signals to the nerves that control your airway muscles, keeping them open. You can use a handheld remote control to turn it on before bed and turn it off after you wake up.
- Medication. Drugs like solriamfetol can treat the sleepiness that often comes with sleep apnea.
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What Are The Effects Of Sleep Apnea
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a number of health problems including hypertension, stroke, arrhythmias, cardiomyopathy , heart failure, diabetes, obesity and heart attacks.
Its likely that sleep apnea can cause arrhythmias and heart failure because if you have sleep apnea, you tend to have higher blood pressure. In fact, sleep apnea occurs in about 50% of people with heart failure or atrial fibrillation.
This is because sleep apnea can cause:
- Repeated episodes of oxygen lowering .
- Changes in carbon dioxide levels.
- Direct effects on the heart due to pressure changes within the chest.
- Increased levels of markers of inflammation.
With the high prevalence of sleep apnea in cardiac arrhythmias and heart failure , experts recommend that you dont delay in seeking the advice of your physician.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2020.
Is Sleep Apnea Permanent
Sleep apnea can take a major toll on your body. From making you fatigued during the day to putting you at risk for certain health complications, this condition isnt one people can easily live with.
So, does sleep apnea have a cure, or are treatments such as CPAP and oral appliances the only solution? Read on to learn how sleep apnea can be treated and potentially cured.
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Surgery For Sleep Apnea: For Specialized Cases
For a small percentage of patients, a structural abnormality in the mouth or throat can cause sleep apnea. A floppy soft palate or large tonsils, adenoids, or tongue are all possible factors. There are different surgical procedures to address each concernjaw advancement surgeries, UPPP procedures , or even tonsillectomies and adenoidectomies. A sleep doctor can evaluate the structures in your mouth and throat, and let you know if you are possibly a candidate for sleep apnea surgery.
Sleep Apnea Cardiovascular Risk And Metabolism
Several studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems like type 2 diabetes , strokes , heart attacks and even a shortened lifespan, says Jun. Why this connection? For one thing, obesity is common in sleep apnea patients, and obesity greatly increases risks of diabetes, stroke and heart attack, he says. In most cases, obesity is the main culprit behind both conditions, Jun explains.
Still, its important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea is obese. Furthermore, evidence suggests an independent link between sleep apnea and diabetes. Our lab and others have shown that sleep apnea is associated with higher risks of diabetes, independent of obesity, and that sleep apnea can increase blood sugar levels, says Jun.
For people who are overweight or obese, weight loss is key for treating or avoiding sleep apnea. People who accumulate fat in the neck, tongue and upper belly are especially vulnerable to getting sleep apnea. This weight reduces the diameter of the throat and pushes against the lungs, contributing to airway collapse during sleep.
Women in particular should be careful as they age. While premenopausal women tend to put on weight in the hips and in the lower body instead of the belly, this shifts with time. Weight begins to accumulate in traditionally male areas like the tummy, and this leads to a greater chance of sleep apnea.
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Avoid Alcohol And Sleeping Pills
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.