What is the treatment for Sleep APNOEA?
Certain factors that are causing sleep apnoea, such as obesity, should be dealt with first. For example, by losing weight, the person may be cured of the condition. Changing sleeping position can help some people – sleeping on your side or front, rather than your back, discourages the tongue from rolling over the airway.
The most effective non-invasive (non-surgical) treatment for sleep apnoea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). The patient wears a soft mask over their nose and mouth, and a machine raises and regulates the pressure of the air they breathe, preventing the airway from collapsing during sleep. Many patients find that this treatment reduces daytime sleepiness and improves their concentration, although some experience facial or nasal pain. Feelings of claustrophobia sometimes occur.
If CPAP doesn’t help a patient, or if they cannot cope with the mask, sometimes surgery is required to manage snoring and sleep apnoea. Surgery can involve correcting physiological abnormalities, such as removing nasal polyps. Other options include removing the adenoids, tonsils, or uvula (a tag of skin hanging down inside the mouth), or performing reconstructive surgery on the nose.
Information source: NHS Direct Online Health Encyclopedia, 2005