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.
What Are The Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Loud, disruptive snoring
This is important as the disease is associated with very high morbidity and mortality that includes:
- Depression, insulin-resistant diabetes
- Sleep-related accidents
If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, you should consult a doctor at your earliest convenience.
Consult a doctor anywhere
With Homage, you can consult a doctor from the comforts of your own home and get professional advice on your medical conditions. It only takes 3 simple steps:
What Happens When You Stop Breathing
When you stop breathing, your heart rate also tends to drop the longer your body is deprived of oxygen. Then, your involuntary reflexes cause you to startle awake at the end of that period of not breathing. When this occurs, your heart rate tends to accelerate quickly and your blood pressure rises.
These are changes that take place acutely when you stop breathing. However, your body starts to experience chronic effects if you experience frequent apnea. Data suggests increased risk, particularly when you stop breathing roughly 30 times or more per hour. But there is likely a risk at even lower frequency rates.
For example, your blood pressure tends to go up, your heart walls thicken due to increased workload and the structure of your heart changes. It tends to become stiffer and less flexible because there are more fibrous cells growing in between the muscle cells.
All of those things increase the risk that you can have either atrial or ventricular arrhythmias. They also tend to reduce the function of the heart so that its less efficient at pumping blood.
Whats Your Sleep Apnea Type
Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the most common type, is mechanical problem in which the muscles in the throat relax during sleep causing the airway to collapse.
Central Sleep Apnea is less common and occurs when the brain fails to sent the right signals to the muscles that control breathing.
Complex Sleep Apnea is when you have symptoms of both obstructive and central sleep apnea.
How Do You Know You Have Sleep Apnea
The obvious symptoms of sleep apnea happen while you are asleep, so lots of people have it and dont know it unless a sleep partner tells them. For most people sleep apnea happens when the tissues at the back of your throat collapse inward enough to obstruct breathing. The result is loud, noisy snoring with short, quiet periods of apnea, which is not breathing.
In you dont have a sleep partner to tell you about night time symptoms, you can suspect sleep apnea if you wake up with a dry sore throat, you wake up with a headache and feeling sleepy, or you have daytime sleepiness that causes you to be tired, irritable, and brain fogged. Having restless nights and waking up frequently is another warning sign.
You may be at higher risk for sleep apnea as you get older. Tissues in the throat tend to get weaker and with age. You may also be at risk of you have a family history of sleep apnea or if you have a short, thick neck. Men are at higher risk than women. There is not much you can do about these risk factors, but other risk factors for sleep apnea can be changed. Thats where lifestyle changes come in.
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Can I Cure Myself Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Now that we know which home remedies can help and hurt OSA, the real question becomes…can any of these cure it? Losing weight, reducing high blood pressure, and being mindful of your sleep apnea causes are great ways to improve your OSA, but sleep apnea does not go away. Sleep apnea treatments are the only ways to ensure your health and wellness.
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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How To Treat Sleep Apnea: Can Natural Remedies Help
This article was co-authored by Zora Degrandpre, ND. Dr. Degrandpre is a Licensed Naturopathic Physician in Vancouver, Washington. She is also a grant reviewer for the National Institutes of Health and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. She received her ND from the National College of Natural Medicine in 2007.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 19,081 times.
What To Know About Conventional Treatments
When people talk about sleep apnea, theyre likely referring to the obstructive kind. Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a blockage like, say, your tongue in the bodys breathing passages.
Right now, experts go-to fix is a device called a continuous positive airway pressure machine , which can supply your body with air via a hose and mask piece.
CPAP treatment inflates the throat with air to keep the airway open during sleep, says Peter Fotinakes, MD, the medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California. It also successfully treats obstructive apnea about 90 percent of the time, he adds.
The machines come in many different sizes and can cost anywhere from about $1,000 to $5,000 for a complete setup. The good news is that most insurance companies consider CPAPs to be medical necessities and therefore, depending on your policy, should at least partially cover the costs. The bad news is that some people think CPAP masks are bulky and simply stop using them.
Talk to your doctor about what sleep apnea treatment is right for you. And in the meantime, consider these four cheaper options:
Read Also: Oxygen Desaturation During Sleep
Heres A Quick Look At The Cpap Alternatives:
Winx Sleep Therapy System:
How it works: Inserted into the mouth to provide a gentle suction that pulls the soft palate and tongue forward which keeps the throat more open for better breathing
Recommended for: obstructive sleep apnea
Proof it works: clinical trials
Pros: no bulky mask or restraining headgear
- requires you to be able to breathe through your nose without mouth breathing
- sucks saliva into a canister that must be emptied in the morning
- possible issues if you have loose teeth or gum disease
Availability: manufacturer appears to have gone out of business
Made by: ApniCure
How it works: Will use positive air pressure to keep the throat more open and promote breathing during sleep. Device will be a disposable battery-operated nose implant that contains hundreds of micro-blowers to create airway pressure.
Recommended for: obstructive and central sleep apnea
Proof it works: under development
Pros: compact, no mask, lightweight, and cordless
Cons: too soon to know
Availability: under development
Surgery For Sleep Apnea
The most common types of surgery for sleep apnea include:
- Nasal surgery. This fixes nasal problems such as a deviated septum.
- Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty . This takes out soft tissue from the back of your throat and palate, making your airway wider at the opening of your throat.
- Mandibular maxillomandibular advancement surgery. This fixes certain facial problems or throat blockages that play a role in sleep apnea.
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Natural Remedies And Sleep Supplements
Finally, taking natural remedies or a sleep supplement like melatonin can improve sleep quality however, its use is very much dependent on quality over quantity. Too much of a good thing can hurt you. Dr. May explains, Excess amounts of melatonin may cause the muscles of the throat and upper airway to relax too much, worsening the obstruction seen with sleep apnea.
She also warns, The other possible concern with melatonin is the potential for its interaction with several medications that are commonly used by people with sleep apnea. Drug interactions are possible with blood thinners, as well as medications for diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain psychiatric conditions. People taking these types of medicines should ask their physician or pharmacist before starting any type of supplement or over-the-counter medicines.
When To See A Doctor
If a person has problems with excessive daytime sleepiness for example, if they fall asleep at work or school they should see their doctor. They should also see their doctor if a loved one witnesses them frequently stopping breathing while they sleep.
Sleep apnea can be a serious condition. When a person stops breathing, the heart works overtime to pump blood through the body to provide the oxygen that the body does not get during apnea episodes. This extra work can damage the heart and lead to high blood pressure and heart rhythm problems.
Traditionally, doctors treat sleep apnea by having a person wear a special device called a continuous positive airway pressure machine. This machine fits over the mouth or nose and provides extra positive airway pressure to keep the airways from collapsing while a person sleeps.
Doctors may also recommend surgery to treat sleep apnea, especially in children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids. A doctor can remove these larger structures at the back of the throat to improve airflow.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Central Sleep Apnea
The most common symptom of central sleep apnea is short periods during sleep when breathing stops. Some people exhibit very shallow breathing instead of actually stopping breathing. You may wake up feeling short of breath. The lack of oxygen can cause you to wake up frequently throughout the night, and can lead to insomnia.
Other symptoms associated with central sleep apnea occur during the day as a result of an interrupted nights sleep. You may feel very sleepy during the day, have trouble concentrating or focusing on tasks, or have a headache when you wake up.
Central sleep apnea caused by Parkinsons disease or other neurological conditions can be characterized by additional symptoms, including:
- difficulty swallowing
Cheap Ways To Treat Sleep Apnea
Sleep safer with these low-cost apnea treatments.
Think nightmares are your biggest bedtime problem? Think again. An estimated 22 million Americans suffer from a condition called sleep apnea, a disorder that causes people to temporarily stop breathing in their sleep. Sounds scary, right?
Well, its certainly serious. Those pauses in breathing not only interfere with sleep quality, but can also increase your risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and heart failure. With so much at stake, finding a treatment is important. Problem is, many of the options can be pricey and unwieldy. Read on for some cheaper alternatives.
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How To Get Rid Of Sleep Apnea
If youve been diagnosed with sleep apnea or even suspect you may have it, you probably know that its important to have it treated before it leads to other, more serious health conditions. The good news is that most cases of sleep apnea can be easily treated. The even better news is that many cases of obstructive sleep apnea can be completely cured. If you arent sure how to get rid of sleep apnea, dont stress because we have provided information on how to cure sleep apnea, as well as sleep apnea treatments without CPAP equipment.
Keep To Good Sleep Habits
Good sleeping habits and sleep patterns are important to feeling well and happy and are a supplement to other sleep treatments.
Try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day. This helps your brain and internal body clock get used to a set routine.
Keep your bedroom dark and quiet. Most adults need between six and nine hours sleep a night work out what time you need to wake up, so you can set a regular bedtime.
If you sleep on your back, try sleeping on your side instead to relieve your symptoms.
The NHS has more useful information on how to get to sleep.
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Can Sleep Apnea Be Permanently Cured
Due to the fact that obstructive sleep apnea is the result of anatomical characteristics, the question of a permanent cure is complicated to answer.
Ongoing, sleep apnea may be treated by a CPAP machine or an oral appliance. A CPAP is worn nightly and works by opening up the airway with air pressure. CPAP is effective for the treatment of sleep apnea, but many patients find it difficult or impossible to tolerate. Oral appliance therapy, which looks similar to a mouthguard or retainer and projects the jaw forward during sleep to open the airway, is another effective treatment that is generally considered more tolerable for patients. Both CPAP and oral appliances must be worn each night to achieve the desired outcomes for the patient. Yet with consistent use, they can reduce a patients score on the apnea hypopnea index to less than five, the number considered by doctors to mean a complete resolution of sleep apnea.
There are surgeries for sleep apnea that can change a persons anatomy, effectively curing the condition, at least in theory. However, success rates vary widely, and in many cases, the condition comes back, leaving patients disappointed.
Oral appliances and CPAP are the overall more reliable option, but for complicated cases, cases in which no other treatment has worked, or at the patients request, surgery may be the way to go.
Some surgical options for the treatment of sleep apnea include:
What Are Risk Factors For Obstructive Sleep Apnea
The major risk factor for sleep apnea is excess body weight. You are much more likely to have sleep apnea if you are overweight or obese. However, sleep apnea can occur in slim people too. Common risk factors for sleep apnea include:
- Excess weight: Your risk for sleep apnea is higher if you are overweight or obese .
- Large neck size: Your risk for sleep apnea is higher if you have a neck size of 17 inches or more for men, or 16 inches or more for women. A large neck has more soft tissue that can block your airway during sleep.
- Middle age: Sleep apnea can occur at any age. However, it is more common between young adulthood and middle age.
- Male gender: Sleep apnea is more common in men than in women. For women, the risk of sleep apnea increases with menopause.
- Hypertension: High blood pressure is common in people who have sleep apnea.
- Sedation: Medication or alcohol can interfere with the ability to awaken from sleep and can lengthen periods of apnea.
- Airway abnormalities: Examples are a deviated septum or nasal polyps.
- Family history: You have a higher risk of sleep apnea if a family member also has it. Inherited traits that increase the risk for sleep apnea include obesity and physical features such as a recessed jaw. Other common family factorssuch as physical activity and eating habitsmay play a role.
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Improve Symptoms With Vitamins And Minerals:
Many studies have shown the improvement in sleep apnea systems when the patients are asked to consume several different vitamins and minerals. According to neurologist Dr. StashaGominak who is also specialist on sleep, most of her patients with sleep apnea also have a vitamin D deficiency. Therefore, if we increase vitamin D consumption, we can decrease or eliminate the symptoms of sleep apnea. Moreover, some people also believe that spending more time in outdoor activities is also one of natural ways on how to treat sleep apnea without CPAP. According to American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, vitamin C can eliminate the risk of sleep apnea. Scientists show that sleep apnea may damage the cells while vitamin C helps to fix the damage.