When a person is first diagnosed with sleep apnea, one of the first treatments that is used if the case is not very severe it to make some lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes can include cutting out alcohol and smoking, and it can also involve losing weight if the person is overweight. The lifestyle changes can also involve learning to sleep on the side instead of the back through the used of sleep apnea pillows and other devices, and it can also require the bed of the patient be raised at the head about four to six inches. If these lifestyle changes do not seem to be working, then more extreme measures need to be taken. In addition, if the person suffers from a more extreme form of sleep apnea, then the extreme measures may need to be started from the beginning in conjunction with the lifestyle changes.
Treatment With Sleep Apnea Machine
One type of sleep apnea machine that is used to help with moderate to severe sleep apnea is called the CPAP. The CPAP is a sleep apnea machine that is designed to keep the airway open while the person is sleeping. In order to use this sleep apnea machine, the person needs to wear a mask over his face while sleeping and the machine has to be kept running during the night. This can be difficult to get used to, since the mask might fall off during the night, or the machine might make it difficult to relax and fall asleep. There are different types of masks that can be used with the CPAP machine so that the patient can find the one that is the most comfortable for him.
There are other sleep apnea machines that operate in a similar way to the CPAP machines. There are some that adjust the air pressure according to whether the person is breathing in or out. These machines are often more comfortable to use since they seem more natural. In addition to the sleep apnea machines, there are also some devices that can be used. Oral breathing devices help to reposition the jaw so that the tongue does not fall back into the throat and the airway is kept clear. If none of the devices or sleep apnea machines are working, then the person might have to consider a more extreme option: surgery. There are a couple of different procedures that work, such as a uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, in which surgeons remove some of the extra tissue that tends to block the airway during the night.