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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Remember the Joys of Sleeping

Sleep is one of the most important things we do as human beings. Without proper sleep, the rest of our life can be negatively affected. With about one in every fifteen Americans suffering from sleep apnea, it's not only important to get sleep, but also to get good sleep. Here are some of the new and effective treatments for those diagnosed with sleep apnea:

Mask/Device Therapy

A very common and affordable treatment offered by many sleep treatment centers, such as WakeUpToSleep, is mask and device therapy. This type of therapy will allow users to sleep better than they have in a long time, give them more energy throughout the day and may even help with other health issues, such as high blood pressure or weight loss. 

A popular type of mask treatment is called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy. This type of sleep machine offers a mask to cover the nose and mouth and one that only covers your nose. It will take time to get used to the machine, but research shows this type of treatment can help with daytime sleepiness, lower blood pressure and, in most cases, is a better option than other non-surgical treatments of sleep apnea.

Expiratory Positive Airway Pressure (EPAP)

One of the newest treatments, recently approved by the FDA is a single-use device place over the nostril before going to sleep. It allows the free movement of air and increases the pressure in the airway to help keep it open. The device is capable of reducing snoring and daytime sleepiness and is a good alternative for those unable to tolerate CPAP.

Oral Devices

Another option proven to help with snoring and allow for better sleep is an oral device. These types of devices help to keep the throat open during sleep. CPAP and EPAP are considered more effective treatments, but oral devices are often much easier to use. For those suffering from mild to moderate sleep apnea, an oral device prescribed by a dentist can help.

Surgeries

If home treatment won't do the trick, surgery is the next type of treatment. Depending on the individual and the condition, one of four surgeries may be recommended. These include tissue removal, jaw repositioning, implants and a tracheostomy (creating a new air passageway). 

Tissue removal often works for those unable to tolerate a CPAP therapy. The doctor will remove tissues from the back of your mouth, along with your tonsils and adenoids. However, this isn't the most successful type of treatment and only works in some cases.

Jaw repositioning helps to enlarge the space behind the tongue and will require the help of an oral surgeon. Often this type of treatment is combined with other sleep apnea treatments for better success.

Implants are plastic rods inserted into the soft palate under local anesthetic. Those suffering from mild sleep apnea are often the best candidates for this type of treatment.

A tracheostomy is the last option a surgeon will recommend. If nothing else has worked, they may perform surgery to create a new air passageway. Only when the condition is life threatening or severe, will this procedure be used. 

Whether you suffer from mild or severe sleep apnea, a treatment can help you get a good night of sleep every night. Consult a doctor before choosing a treatment, as they will be able to best diagnose the severity of your condition and match the right treatment for you.

The above entry is a guest blog post.

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