One of the most common questions our patients ask is whether or not their sleep apnea can be cured. The question hinges on the difference between cured and treated. If a sleep disorder is cured, the patient would no longer require treatment to achieve healthy sleep each night. Treated simply means the patient is able to find healthy sleep as long they maintain their current treatment method. Today, the experts at Common Sleep will discuss some sleep apnea treatment, potential cures, and the steps you should take if diagnosed.
Understand Sleep Apnea
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), is a disorder in which a person’s airway becomes blocked while they sleep. This interruption in breathing causes the patient to briefly wake up and puts them at risk for many other conditions, including high blood pressure and stroke.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, it is crucial to seek treatment. Not only are their many dangerous side effects, but it is likely the reason you wake up feeling tired even after a full night of sleep. Luckily, once you have been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, there are many treatments available that can help you to sleep soundly.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
The gold standard of treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP. CPAP is generally the first method recommended by sleep specialists after a positive diagnosis. In essence, CPAP is a mask worn over the nose and mouth that blows air into the airways to keep them open at night.
CPAP works well for most patients; however, many people find it difficult to get comfortable while wearing the device. Luckily there are many new developments that have been created to help combat sleep apnea. Alternative CPAP treatments like nasal masks and nasal pillows may be more comfortable for the patient. There are also oral appliances that fit into the mouth to prevent the airway from collapsing that some patients have found successful.
Sleep Apnea Cures
While CPAP and oral applications can be incredibly effective treatments for sleep apnea, they aren’t cures. For patients seeking a permanent fix, there are essentially two methods to cure your sleep apnea. First, is to lose weight. Sleep apnea is most often found in obese patients. Weight loss can help to lessen the pressure on the patient’s airways. It also can help lessen the co-morbidity health risks associated with OSA.
It should be noted that not every patient who suffers from sleep apnea is overweight. For patients who are a healthy body mass index, or are unable or unwilling to lose weight, an alternative option is surgery. Patients can have excess tissue removed from the palate or throat to cure their sleep apnea. These methods do carry a risk of side effects and are generally viewed as a last resort.
Schedule a Sleep Study at Common Sleep
To begin treatment for your sleep disorder, you must first schedule a sleep test to ensure you suffer from sleep apnea. Contact Common Sleep today at 417-368-1605 to discuss your options with our expert sleep technicians.