With three different types of sleep apnea and multiple treatment options, you can feel overwhelmed and like your situation is hopeless. Not only that, but you’re suffering detrimental sleep apnea symptoms, making your personal, professional, and social life seem like a chore. Choosing the right treatment for sleep apnea shouldn’t be so hard.
Consult with a SleepTest certified sleep doctor to determine the best sleep apnea treatment for you and your lifestyle. But here is a pro tip: the best sleep apnea treatment is the one you’ll use.
Improve your quality of sleep to improve your quality of life.
Step 1: Order a Sleep Test
Your first step in treating sleep apnea is to order a sleep test to determine if you have it and which type of sleep apnea you have. You can order an at-home sleep test online or go to a lab for a sleep study. Either choice will work, but at-home sleep testing yields better results because the test duration is longer (two nights instead of one), and you won’t have outside factors, like a new location, keeping you from falling and staying asleep. You can do your two-night test right from your bed.
There are three types of sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): This type is most common. It’s when your soft tissues sag and wholly or partially block your airway while you sleep.
Central Sleep Apnea (CSA): Less prevalent, this type occurs when your brain doesn’t tell your lungs to breathe.
Complex Sleep Apnea: This is even less common when you develop CSA from OSA after becoming CPAP dependent.
Step 2: Treatment Options
Your type of sleep apnea is the first factor in determining the best treatment option. The second factor to consider is the severity of your condition, and finally, your willingness to comply with the treatment options.
CPAP stands for “Continuous Positive Airway Pressure.” It’s a machine that pushes air through your airway while you sleep, via a mask fitting over your nose and mouth or just your nose. You can use it for all types of sleep apnea.
CPAP is 100% effective if you wear it every time you sleep, all night long. However, many people and their sleeping partners find CPAP uncomfortable due to the mask, tubes, and the soft noise of the machine. Traditional CPAP machines are also notoriously difficult to travel with—but you have options to make things easier.
Many people don’t mind the machine’s noise because it provides white noise. If you’re someone who sleeps with a fan for noise, the CPAP likely won’t bother you. You have different options for masks. Masks can be a full-face, nasal, and nasal pillow. Your sleep doctor can help you determine which mask works best for you.
Remember: a clean CPAP machine is essential for effective treatment.
If you travel for work or pleasure frequently, don’t worry. You can use a travel CPAP machine that is compact and convenient. Security at airports is easy, too. Just send it through as usual. Keep your CPAP with you and never check it. Checked bags tend to get lost, and you need to use to every time you sleep. If you opt to bring a full-size CPAP, you can carry it on separately since it’s a medical device.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Oral appliance therapy (OAT) is a sleep apnea treatment that works without a machine or a mask. It’s a small mouthguard-like appliance you wear when sleeping. It holds your jaw in a position where your airway stays open despite the sagging soft tissues. OAT is 95% effective clinically, but it may be more effective in a real-world setting than CPAP because patients have an easier time adhering to treatment. Oral appliance therapy can treat mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea.
Caring for your oral appliance is easy. Just brush it along with your teeth after you wear it. Keeping it clean will make you more likely to wear it every time you sleep.
Traveling with your OAT is easy, too, since it fits in a small protective case. But just like with CPAP, never check your oral appliance. Keep it with you at all times while traveling.
Inspire is a new sleep apnea treatment and an alternative to CPAP. It’s a device that lives inside your body and keeps your airway clear with a gentle pulse. The pulse keeps your tongue from falling back and creating a blockage. It is FDA approved and treats obstructive and some complex sleep apnea.
The device is placed in short outpatient surgery. When you’re going to sleep or take a nap, turn it on with your remote and turn it off when you awaken.
This device is easy to travel with, too. Like CPAP and OAT, always keep your remote on your person.
Treatment Supplement: Lifestyle Changes
Many people wonder if they need sleep apnea treatment and if lifestyle changes can eliminate their sleep apnea. Since it is a life-threatening and altering condition, we don’t recommend only lifestyle changes as treatment. However, the best way to treat sleep apnea is to use the treatment option you’ll follow in combination with lifestyle changes. Lifestyle changes alone will not cure your sleep apnea, but they can supplement treatment.
- Lose weight if applicable
- Increase exercise and activity
- Quit drinking alcohol and all smoking
- Avoid certain medications such as muscle relaxants and strong pain killers
- Sleep on your side
- Manage your allergies
- Practice healthy sleep habits
Step 3: Order Your At-Home Sleep Test & Change Your Life
It’s time to order your at-home sleep test and increase your quality of life with sleep apnea treatment. With SleepTest.com, you’ll find an easy and convenient portal that provides a complimentary benefits check, payment options, continual connection with your certified-sleep doctor, and telemedicine visits that allow you to see your doctor without leaving your home, office, or vacation.
Take your life back with sleep apnea treatment. Order your at-home sleep test today.
If you are tired of poor sleep, daytime fogginess, constant fatigue, and stress from never feeling well rested, it may be time to explore the possibility that you suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). Millions of people have OSA, and many of those people suffer the adverse health effects of OSA for years (even decades) before getting a proper diagnosis and treatment for this serious sleep disorder.
Have you ever been tired and groggy despite a full night's sleep? If you or someone you know snores regularly, sleep apnea could be the culprit. Sleep apnea is when breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, leading to a lack of oxygen in the body. This can cause snoring, gasping, and even choking while sleeping. Sleep apnea has been linked to a host of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.
An estimated 29.4 million adults in the U.S. have sleep apnea, and 80% go undiagnosed and untreated. Unfortunately, many men write off their sleep apnea as insomnia, and women underreport snoring. This makes it difficult for physicians and dentists to screen for sleep apnea, diagnose, and provide life-changing treatment.