4 Sleep Apnea Treatments You May Want To Discuss With Your Doctor

If you suspect you have sleep apnea, see a sleep medicine doctor to find out if you need a sleep test done. The test can determine if you have sleep apnea by detecting periods when you stop breathing at night. If you do have sleep apnea, your doctor will talk to you about the available treatments. Here are some treatments your doctor might consider.

1. Use A Machine To Assist Breathing

CPAP is a common treatment for sleep apnea, especially obstructive apnea that's caused by an obstructed airway due to fat or tissue crowding your airway. A CPAP machine blows air through a mask or nasal pillow into your airway to provide pressure that keeps your airway open.

There are machines similar to CPAP that work to get the same effect, such as BiPAP and APAP, so your doctor has to consider the cause of your apnea and your other medical conditions when determining the right machine to prescribe and the settings to use.

2. Get An Oral Device From A Dentist

Some people have a hard time adapting to a CPAP machine. Since sleep apnea needs to be treated, your doctor might suggest an oral device if you don't use your CPAP machine. Your doctor writes a prescription that your dentist fills by making a custom oral device to wear while you sleep.

The device repositions your airway by pulling your jaw forward or making some other adjustment that keeps your airway open. You may find oral devices you can buy over the counter to treat sleep apnea, but you should ask your doctor about them before you use one. An OTC device may not be as effective, and that might harm your health if your sleep apnea isn't treated effectively.

3. Get An Implant

An implant is another sleep apnea treatment to talk to your doctor about. One type of implant is put in your soft palate. The rods make your palate stiffer so your airway doesn't collapse as easily. Another implant stimulates a nerve that keeps your tongue from blocking your airway. Nerve stimulation can also work on your throat muscles to keep them open so your airway is wider when you fall asleep and relax.

4. Undergo Surgery For Sleep Apnea

Another sleep apnea treatment to consider is surgery. Surgery may be needed if you have an abnormality in your airway that causes an obstruction when your airway relaxes at night. This might involve removing tissues to make your airway wider or doing nose surgery to open up your nasal passages.

Contact a local clinic to learn more about getting sleep apnea treatments.