The effectiveness of treating sleep apnea depends entirely upon the type of sleep apnea a person has and the severity of it.
Some treatments may prove to be so effective for some sufferers they could be considered cures for sleep apnea, albeit continual cures in most cases.
Central Sleep Apnea is a condition of the brain in which signals to the lungs aren’t sent, so breathing stops. Use of CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) and certain kinds of medication which encourage breathing are often effective for this type of sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea usually has more scope for treating or curing, because it isn’t a fault within the neurological system but physical obstructions within the airways. Depending upon the type of obstruction, there can be many ways to help facilitate clearer air passage.
Surgery: Often, surgery can be performed such as the removal of tonsils and adenoids, which may be causing the obstruction. Obviously surgery isn’t without risks, so you should ask your doctor or surgeon about any risks involved before undergoing surgery.
Machines: Machines such as the CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) machine help keep the airways open during REM sleep (when they usually close up on Obstructive Sleep Apnea sufferers). CPAP in particular is perhaps the most common and effective of all treatments for severe sufferers of sleep apnea, but for some the feeling of been hooked up to a machine with a mask can be too much, causing many to reject or stop using CPAP.
Devices: Devices are also a workable solution to some sleep apnea sufferers, which may reposition the jaw forward during sleep, opening the airways, or may also hold the tongue in place preventing it collapsing back over the airways during REM sleep.
Health / Behavioural Changes: Obesity can make symptoms of sleep apnea worse due to the fatty tissues within the airways causing obstruction. By losing weight, these tissues will reduce making it easier to breath. Smoking can also inflame the airways, making it harder to breathe so by stopping smoking you may help reduce inflammation. Sleeping on your side rather than on your back will also have a great effect on Obstructive Sleep Apnea, as your tongue is less likely to flop backwards covering your airways, so your airways have a better chance of staying open.
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