Sleep apnea can cause serious health problems like heart trouble and high blood pressure if left untreated. Any person can have the condition, but it commonly affects overweight individuals. Sleep apnea treatment ranges from surgical procedures to making lifestyle changes through different forms of therapy. Let’s discuss how long it takes to get treatment for sleep apnea.
Types of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs due to interruptions in a person’s breathing pattern during sleep. Untreated sleep apnea halts someone from repeatedly breathing when sleeping. It can eventually cause health problems like diabetes, heart failure, stroke, and cardiomyopathy.
Treatment varies depending on the type of sleep apnea and individual experiences. There are two types of sleep apnea, central and obstructive:
- Central sleep apnea: The respiratory control center becomes unstable and fails to signal brain muscles to breathe. The problem is only linked to the central nervous system since there is no airway blockage.
- Obstructive sleep apnea: Obstructions occur due to repeated episodes of partial or complete blockage of the upper airway during sleep. Such episodes reduce oxygen flow to vital organs, interfere with normal sleep, and cause irregularities in heart rhythm.
Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
An individual wears a mask to cover the nose or mouth. The mask is hooked to a machine that helps to keep the airways open by delivering constant airflow into the nose.
Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP)
BiPAP is similar to CPAP. The difference is in air flow changes when breathing in and out. An individual wears a mask that connects the machine to them, which uses pressure to push air into the lungs.
Automatic Positive Airway Pressure (APAP)
An APAP machine props the airway open when sleeping to prevent anything from blocking the flow. The machine adjusts the amount of pressure it gives a person when sleeping depending on their needs.
Dentists design oral appliances to keep the airway open when a person is sleeping. A dentist specializing in sleep apnea will design the right appliance to solve the problem based on the individual’s body structure.
Individuals with enlarged tonsils, a deviated nasal septum, a narrow jaw, or an overbite may need surgery to remedy the cause of the issue.
These changes include losing weight, changing sleeping positions, treating allergies, and avoiding sleeping pills and alcohol.
When To Expect Results
Most people sleep better the first night after using oral appliances. A single night of successfully using any therapy cannot undo the effect of many months or years of poor sleep quality. After starting treatment, one must be patient and positive for successful outcomes and long-lasting results.
CPAP therapy eliminates daytime fatigue and sleepiness linked with obstructive slep apnea. Studies show that patients who use CPAP machines achieve maximum results after about two weeks. Various factors can impact the outcomes as with other medical treatments, so every situation and patient is different.
One form of treatment may be effective for one person and fail to work on another. A doctor can advise the best treatment method depending on the severity and type of an individual’s sleep apnea.
How To Benefit Most From Sleep Apnea Treatment
To get the most out of sleep apnea treatment, you’ll need to comply with the doctor’s prescribed solutions. Before a person gets accustomed to wearing the oral appliance, it may take some time to see results. Wear it every night to help your body start adapting successfully.
A sleep medicine expert or doctor may recommend a sleep test as a follow-up procedure while you’re routinely wearing the appliance. The sleep test will provide insight into how the treatment works. The doctor can also use the test to determine if it is necessary to make other adjustments to conquer the effects of slep apnea.
Look for a sleep apnea treatment specialist with plenty of years of experience. If they’ve successfully treated other patients with the same issue, they’ll be able to help you as well. Contact a specialist now to enjoy sleeping restfully again!