Treatments for Sleep Apnoea

Below you can find simple modes of help for sleep apneoa (also spelled 'sleep apnea') and approaches that you can easily take:

Sleep Apnoea & Lying on your Side

Lying on your back greatly increases the chances of snoring and paused breathing as the airway can become more restricted lying on your back. The tactic of sleeping on your side has been shown to greatly decrease snoring and paused breathing. Simple methods to try and maintain this position during the night is to sew tennis balls into the back of your pyjamas so that you are unable to lie on your back! There are also head positioning pillows available that keep your head to the side. If you do not have one of these pillows, try to use a thin pillow to keep the neck straight and airway open. Do not elevate the head with pillows as this can restrict the airways. Raising the head of the bed in a more upright position is thought to help sufferers but ensure you still use a thin pillow to maintain a straight sleeping position.

Nasal Strips for Sleep Apnoea

Simple over the counter remedies are available for snoring. These aid dilation of the nostrils and are particularly helpful during the early stages of the sleep disorder but are not regarded as a treatment for the disorder, just an aid to help reduce snoring and clearer breathing. This is an inexpensive step to helping your sleep apnoea disorder.

Mouth Piece for Sleep Apnoea

A custom fitted mouth piece can be made by your dentist. This will ensure that your tongue and jaw are in the correct position to prevent blocked airways. This may not be comfortable for some people and can cause later problems to your teeth, jaw and gums. Full advice will be available from your dentist. This treatment is also used for people who snore loudly but do not have sleep apnoea.

Oral Sprays for Sleep Apnoea

Oral sprays can be used to lubricate the soft palate to minimise vibration. Again, an inexpensive step you can try but not a full treatment for the disorder.

CPAP (Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure) Devices for Sleep Apnoea

CPAP is regarded as one of the most effective treatments for sleep apnoea. It is also something that can be used easily within the comfort of your own bedroom. It involves wearing a nose mask which pumps air at a moderately increased pressure through the nose. It uses a pressure sensor to give the individual the exact air flow that they need throughout the night to keep the airway open at the lowest pressure possible to make it comfortable to use. The mask is connected to a tube that can sit easily on your bedside table. This, however, is not a permanent treatment, as soon as the mask is not worn, the sleep disorder will return. Another negative aspect is the wearing of the mask which some people do find difficult to cope with.

Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure Devices for Sleep Apnoea

Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure Devices, can be used if CPAP is not effective and with people who have lung disease and excessive carbon dioxide levels. The device does not just pump air in as the CPAP device does but monitors and applies pressure depending on inhalation or exhalation. This can be a more expensive aid and it is generally regarded as a temporary one.

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