Sleep Apnea Treatment Methods
How Do You Treat Sleep Apnea?
There are three main approaches to treating sleep apnea. One involves using a continuous positive airway pressure device, also known as a CPAP mask or device. Another involves wearing a device that helps you sleep on your side or abdomen instead of your back. Sleep apnea treatment may also include life-style based changes. You may get the best treatment results from a combination of these methods.
What is a CPAP Device?
A CPAP device is a mask that you wear over your mouth and nose while you sleep. It keeps your airway open by creating air pressure in your throat. Initially, there may be an adjustment period that involves getting used to the wearing the device and calibrating it for maximum effectiveness. However, following this period, people generally report much more restful sleep over the long term. Many people report sleeping with CPAP on has completely changed their life for the better, and they sleep much better at night and feel significantly more energetic in the daytime. When you are in our center, our sleep team will give you specific instructions on how to wear, use and care for your CPAP device.
Positional therapy may help your sleep apnea if you primarily experience apnea events when you sleep on your back. Sleeping on your back can put excess pressure on your airway and cause you to stop breathing or breathe shallowly. However, some people with sleep apnea breathe normally if they switch to sleeping on their side or abdomen. This is called positional sleep apnea and is typically treated with positional therapy. Positional therapy helps you avoid sleeping on your back at night to reduce apnea events and sleep apnea symptoms. This sleep apnea treatment may include wearing a device around your waist or back that prevents you from rolling over onto your back during the night. Another option for positional sleep apnea therapy involves wearing a small device on the back of your neck that vibrates when it senses you have switched to sleeping on your back. This vibration is gentle enough that it won’t wake you, but helps you switch to a different sleeping position that puts less pressure on your airway. Our sleep team may recommend positional therapy on its own or alongside other treatments like CPAP and lifestyle changes.
There are several changes you can make alongside using a CPAP device that may reduce the severity of your sleep apnea and the symptoms associated with it. Your sleep apnea might fluctuate based on whether or not you are at a healthy weight. Exercise may be helpful even if it does not result in weight loss. Alcohol, sleeping pills and other relaxants can worsen sleep apnea by making the muscles in your throat more relaxed, so they should be avoided. Smoking can also worsen your sleep apnea symptoms.
How is Sleep Apnea Treated at the Low T Center?
If we determine through a health assessment that you may have sleep apnea, we will schedule a home sleep test. We’ll give you the easy-to-use equipment you need for the home test, and data will be electronically recorded for our sleep specialists so we can get results to you within 24 -72 hours.
Once we have a sleep apnea diagnosis, we will work with you to determine the best course of treatment. We will let you try on various CPAP masks and even lie down with them in a private room to determine which one is most comfortable for you.
When you are at home and wearing your CPAP device, it will transmit sleep data to us in a live stream, allowing us to make ongoing adjustments for personalized treatment. Our monitoring system and commitment to optimization helps ensure that we get you the right settings as quickly as possible so you can get back to enjoying quality sleep every night.
With many providers, the approach to treating sleep concerns is not comprehensive. At the Low T Center, we are a fully integrated provider of sleep apnea treatment. This means that we remain involved at every step of the process, starting with diagnosis and treatment and including providing supplies, monitoring, making adjustments and doing follow-ups. Consistent use of the CPAP device is key, so if our sleep specialist determines that you are not using the mask regularly, we’ll talk to you about what the problem is and how we can work toward a solution.
We have priced our equipment low to make our treatment as accessible as possible and offer self-pay plans as well as accepting insurance. If you are suffering from fatigue, insomnia or other sleep issues, make an appointment online today with the Low T Center and we’ll see what we can do to help you.