Most Commonly Recommended Treatments for Apnea by Sleep Trained Medical Professionals
The ideal situation includes a personal consultation with a sleep medicine trained physician or medical provider.
These are the points that may be discussed as included in the current medical guidelines for obstructive sleep apnea treatment:
- CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is recommended as the first line of treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is recommended for the treatment of snoring without apnea
- Oral devices are also recommended for the treatment of adult patients who are intolerant of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy or PREFER alternate therapy.
- The new guidelines support increased teamwork between physicians and dentists noting that the board-certified sleep medicine physician should take the patient’s preference into consideration when prescribing treatment for sleep apnea.
- Lifestyle changes to include weight loss, smoking cessation and limitation of alcoholic beverages are often recommended.
- A change in the position of your sleep may also be recommended. In many cases, apnea may be reduced by avoidance of sleeping on the back position.
Surgery is rarely recommended as a primary treatment option but often combined with other treatments for better success.
- Airway surgery – often provides only short-term relief. However, removal of upper nasal obstructions can aid other treatment modalities for increased success.
- Far less commonly prescribed are other surgeries, involving the jaw, or hypoglossal nerve stimulation.
Less researched treatments that may help reduce apnea events may include oropharyngeal (throat) exercises and even musical instrument playing.
Other types of treatments may be discussed by your sleep specialist should you have other types of apnea, such as central or mixed apnea.
Which treatment is best suited for you is dependent on many factors such as severity, life style restrictions, weight, and more.