Treatment Options

Treating your sleep apnea can give you back that sense of refreshing sleep, improve your overall quality of life and increase your energy throughout the day

Why is treatment necessary?

When you have an apnea, air stops flowing to your lungs for ten seconds or longer. The most common form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is sleep apnea caused by an obstruction of the airway.

 

Sensing you have stopped breathing, a control centre in your brain triggers you to wake up just enough to start breathing again. Then you fall back to sleep and the cycle begins again. This can happen more than 50 times every hour, even though you may not remember waking up.

As you can imagine, constantly being triggered back into breathing-hour after hour, night after night, may put a strain on your body.

So you need something to keep your airway open to prevent this from happening.

Benefits of treatment

What are the benefits of treating sleep apnea? When left untreated, sleep apnea may affect your energy levels, productivity and mental well-being. Sleep apnea can affect anyone - fit or overweight, old or young, male or female. It can even affect children.

Various options

  • Mandibular repositioning device (MRD)

    An MRD is a dental device, custom-fitted to hold your jaw in a forward position to keep the airway from closing.
  • Surgery

    Surgical procedures can be used to treat sleep apnea, but as with all surgeries, there are associated risks.1
  • Positive airway pressure therapy (often called CPAP)

    This non-surgical therapy is generally regarded as the gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea.2

How positive airway pressure works

The therapy generally regarded as the gold standard treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is called positive airway pressure therapy (often referred to as CPAP).

The basic idea behind it is very simple. While you sleep, a regulated flow of pressurised air is used to keep your upper airway open and prevent apneas.

The pressurised air is generated by a small device and delivered to a mask that you wear while you sleep.

As long as you are breathing the air from your device at the pressure set by your healthcare professional, you should be able to sleep without the disturbance of apneas.

If you think you may have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor or find out how to set up a sleep apnea test.

References

  • 01

    Elshaug A, Moss J, et al. Upper airway surgery should not be first line treatment for OSA in adults. British Medical Journal, 2008; 336:44-5.

  • 02

    Pépin JL, et al. Pressure reduction during exhalation in sleep apnea patients treated by continuous positive airway pressure. Chest. 2009 Aug;136(2):490-7. Epub Jun 30, 2009.

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