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Sleep Disorders: Sleep Apnea: Sleep Apnea Treatment  Previous Next

Sleep Apnea Treatment

by: Marcus Peterson

The goal of treatment for sleep apnea patients is to keep the airway open and prevent pauses in breathing during sleep.

Various methods used to alleviate sleep apnea include:

Behavioral Therapy, which should include avoiding alcohol and CNS depressants close to bedtime, weight reduction and sleep posture modification.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), which is an effective noninvasive medical treatment to eliminate snoring and prevent sleep apnea. CPAP works by gently blowing pressurized air through the nasal passage of the patient at a pressure high enough to prevent the throat from collapsing during sleep.

Oral appliances, which reposition the lower jaw and the tongue, thus opening the space at the back of the throat, and helping treat sleep apnea. There are various devices that prevent the tongue from falling back over the airway (a tongue retaining device) or move the mandible to an anterior and forward position (a mandibular advancement device or MAD).

Surgery such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP)

UPPP, the most common type of surgery to treat sleep apnea, intends to enlarge the airways by removing all the redundant tissue (tonsils, adenoids, and uvula) from the pharynx.

Laser-assisted Uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is a procedure performed in a specialist office and involves the use of a laser to remove part of the soft palate, shorten the uvula (the uvula is the tissue that hangs from the middle of the back of the roof of the mouth) and remove other excess tissue from the pharynx.

Tracheostomy, in which a small hole is made in the trachea or windpipe below the site of obstruction and a tube is inserted into the opening. This tube is opened only during sleeping hours, so that air flows directly into the lungs, bypassing any blocked air passage in the throat.

Another relatively new procedure is radiofrequency ablation (RFA), which makes use of radiofrequency energy to remove tissue from uvula, soft palate and tongue and thereby help treat sleep apnea. In children and adolescents removal of enlarged tonsils or adenoids stands as a viable option in the treatment of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea provides detailed information on Sleep Apnea, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Central Sleep Apnea, Sleep Apnea Machines and more. Sleep Apnea is affliated with Pediatric Sleep Disorders.

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