Sleep Apnea | Learn How To Reduce The Effect Of Sleep Apnea

Learn How to Reduce the Effect of Sleep Apnea

By Ebe Heng

This article would not be able to issue a cure for sleep apnea, but it can highlight some solutions you can go to to get rid of it!

The Greek word "apnea" literally means "without breath." So, in a nutshell sleep apnea means sleeping without breathing.

People with untreated sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly during their sleep, sometimes hundreds of times during the night and often for a minute or longer.

Untreated, sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and other cardiovascular disease, memory problems, weight gain, impotency, and headaches. Moreover, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for job impairment and motor vehicle crashes.

There are three solutions used effectively to reduce the effects of sleep apnea.

1. Physical or Mechanical Therapy

Nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common effective treatment for sleep apnea. In this procedure, the patient wears a mask over the nose during sleep, and pressure from an air blower forces air through the nasal passages. The air pressure is adjusted so that it is just enough to prevent the throat from collapsing during sleep. The pressure is constant and continuous. Nasal CPAP prevents airway closure while in use, but apnea episodes return when CPAP is stopped or it is used improperly.

2. Surgery

Some patients with sleep apnea may need surgery. Although several surgical procedures are used to increase the size of the airway, none of them is completely successful or without risks. More than one procedure may need to be tried before the patient realizes any benefits.

Some of the more common procedures include removal of adenoids and tonsils (especially in children), nasal polyps or other growths, or other tissue in the airway and correction of structural deformities. Younger patients seem to benefit from these surgical procedures more than older patients.

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) is a procedure used to remove excess tissue at the back of the throat (tonsils, uvula, and part of the soft palate). The success of this technique may range from 30 to 60 percent. The long-term side effects and benefits are not known, and it is difficult to predict which patients will do well with this procedure.

Somnoplasty is a procedure that uses radiowaves to reduce the size of some airway structures such as the uvula and the back of the tongue. This technique is being investigated as a treatment for apnea.

3. Non-specific Therapy

Behavioral changes are an important part of the treatment program, and in mild cases behavioral therapy may be all that is needed. Overweight persons can benefit from losing weight. Even a 10 percent weight loss can reduce the number of apneic events for most patients. Individuals with apnea should avoid the use of alcohol and sleeping pills, which make the airway more likely to collapse during sleep and prolong the apneic periods. In some patients with mild sleep apnea, breathing pauses occur only when they sleep on their backs. In such cases, using pillows and other devices that help them sleep in a side position may be helpful.

These three solutions are information on what can be done to reduce sleep apnea effect, to better your knowledge in this area... To really cure your sleep apnea, you would still need to consult a doctor.

About the author:

How important is a good night sleep worth to you? Ebe Heng has co-created the ultimate, informative and useful sleep diretories for anyone with any sleep related problems. Rid that insomnia bug and get the sleep that you deserved! Check out=>

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