Prepare for a restful night’s sleep
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, the first step is to get diagnosed by a doctor. Then you can focus on finding the right treatment for you.
From CPAP machines to surgery, read on find out everything you need to know about treating sleep apnea.
Diagnosing sleep apnea
For an official diagnosis of sleep apnea, your doctor may refer you to a sleep disorder centre.
Diagnosis tests may include:
What happens: You’ll be hooked up to equipment overnight to monitor your heart, lungs and brain activity, plus breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, and arm and leg movements.
Home sleep tests
What happens: You’ll be given a portable monitoring device to measure your heart rate, blood oxygen levels, airflow and breathing patterns at home. You may need a follow-up nocturnal polysomnography if the results are inconclusive.
What happens: If you have obstructive sleep apnea, you may be sent to an ear, nose and throat doctor to check for blockages in your nose and throat. If you have central sleep apnea, you may be referred to a cardiologist or neurologist to check for underlying health conditions.
How you can make a difference
If you have sleep apnea, certain lifestyle changes may help to ease your symptoms and promote a better night’s sleep.
You can try:
Losing excess weight
Managing your allergies more effectively
Avoiding alcohol and sedatives
Sleeping on your side
Using a saline nasal spray
Introducing continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
CPAP therapy is a non-surgical treatment that provides a constant flow of air to the lungs while you sleep.
The machine consists of an air compressor, tube and mask, which you place over your nose. It is designed to provide just enough air pressure to keep your muscles and tissues from relaxing and obstructing the airway.
Many people worry about the impact CPAP will have on their lives, but if you find the right machine for you, it can help to change yours for the better.
But how does CPAP actually work?
The CPAP machine draws in air from your bedroom, pressurises it to the correct level, and delivers it into your lungs via the connected tube and mask.
A filter ensures you’re not breathing in dust, smoke or impurities from the air, while a built-in humidifier keeps air warm and moist to prevent throat dryness and discomfort.
All our CPAP machines are designed to be user-friendly, quiet, compact and comfortable.
Who can use CPAP?
CPAP is the most common and reliable method for treating moderate to severe sleep apnea.
Some people find the mask feels strange to wear at first, but with practise, you should be able to find a comfortable, secure fit that works for you.
And if you’re not sure which mask to try, you can always speak to our dedicated customer service team for more advice.
The benefits of CPAP
You may feel instant relief after using a CPAP machine, but it’s also normal to need a little time to adjust. You can look forward to:
A better quality night’s sleep
Lower blood pressure
Decrease in daytime tiredness
If Auto-CPAP isn’t for you …
Although Auto-CPAP is widely considered to be one of the best treatment options for sleep apnea, one size does not fit all. Speak to your doctor to discuss the best treatment option for you.
Other airway pressure devices. Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) provides more pressure when you inhale and less when you exhale.
Expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP). These single-use devices feature a valve that forces inhaled air out through small holes, which helps to increase pressure in the airway.
Oral appliances. These are designed by dentists to open your throat by bringing your jaw forward, which can sometimes relieve snoring and mild obstructive sleep apnea. You may need to try several different devices before finding one that works for you.
Sleep apnea surgery
The goal of surgery for sleep apnea is to enlarge the airway through either your nose or throat. Surgical success for sleep apnea varies and not everyone will benefit. Your Ear Nose and Throat doctor will assess your anatomy, recommend the appropriate treatment and advise you on the success rate, should you choose to go for surgery.
Tissue removal (uvulopalatopharyngoplasty). Your doctor removes tissue from the rear of your mouth and top of your throat to stop it from vibrating, which helps to reduce snoring.
Jaw repositioning (maxillomandibular advancement). Your doctor moves your jaw bone forward to enlarge the space behind the tongue and roof of the mouth.
Implants. Your doctor inserts plastic rods in your soft palate to stiffen it in order to reduce vibration and the chances of the soft palate closing the airway.
Tongue base surgery. This procedure involves removing part of your tongue base to increase airway space.
Radiofrequency tissue reduction surgery. Sutter Radiofrequency reduces the soft palate and the structures on the side wall of the inside of the nose, called turbinates
Other types of surgery that may help enlarge your passageways include:
Nasal surgery to remove polyps or straighten a crooked partition in your nose (deviated nasal septum)
Surgery to remove enlarged tonsils or throat glands
Weight loss surgery
Want sweet dreams?
Put an end to your sleep-disturbed nights. Book a sleep study with us and we will refer you to an experienced doctor for an initial consultation. Following your appointment, you will receive a discount code/coupon to use on any CPAP purchase with us.
Rediscover the benefits of a good night’s sleep. Book a sleep study with us now.