Sleep Apnea Treatments

Sleep Apnea Treatments-

Last week we looked at sleep apnea and some of the troubles it can cause.  Now we take a look at some of the treatments available to minimize or alleviate sleep apnea.  These treatments range from modifying behaviors to surgery.  The goal of treatments for sleep apnea is to keep your airway passage open so you can breath easier and not suffer a breathing stoppage.

Behavioral Modifications for Sleep Apnea:

Mild cases of sleep apnea can sometimes be treated by such conservative approaches as:

  • Losing Weight
  • Avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills
  • Changing sleep positions to help ease breathing
  • Stop smoking- Smoking can increase swelling in the upper airway, which may make snoring, and apnea worse.
  • Don’t sleep on your back

Therapies and Surgical Treatments:

Therapies and Surgical treatments are often suggested for moderate to sever cases of sleep apnea.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP):

sleep apnea CPAP mask example

sleep apnea CPAP mask example

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a treatment in which a mask is worn over your nose and/or mouth while you sleep.  The mask is hooked up to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air in to the nostrils.  The positive pressure from air flowing into the nostrils helps keep the airways open so that breathing is not impaired.  CPAP is considered by many experts to be the most effective treatment for sleep apnea.  The downside of CPAP is that some people find the mask uncomfortable and/or cumbersome.

Dental (Oral) Devices:

Another option is to wear a dental device to keep your throat open.  Dental devices can be made that help keep the airway open during sleep.  Dentists with background in sleep apnea can design and make these devices for you.  You may need to try a few different devices to find the one that works best for you.

Surgery for Sleep Apnea:

The goal of surgery in the treatment of sleep apnea is to remove excess tissue you’re your nose or throat that is causing you to snore or is blocking your upper air passage.  Surgery may be an option for sleep apnea if you suffer from a deviated nasal septum, enlarged nostrils, or a small lower jaw with an overbite that causes an abnormally narrow throat.  The most common surgeries performed for sleep apnea include:

  • Nasal Surgery: Correction of nasal obstructions such as a deviated septum.
  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP): A procedure to remove soft tissue on the back of the throat and palate, to increase the width of the airway at the opening of the throat.
  • Mandibular maxillar advancement surgery: A more invasive surgery performed to correct certain facial abnormalities or throat obstructions that contribute to sleep apnea.  Your jaw is moved forward, enlarging the space behind the tongue and soft palate, helping make obstructions less likely.
  • Tracheotomy: This may be needed if other treatments have failed and you have severe or even life-threatening sleep apnea.  An opening is made in your neck and a tube is inserted through which you breath.  This bypasses the blocked air passage in your throat.

 Other Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea:

While the following procedures have been effective in treating snoring, the long term effectiveness in treating sleep apnea has yet to be determined.  These minimally invasive procedures that are designed to reduce and stiffen the soft tissue of the soft palate include:

  • Pillar palatal implants- polyester braids are embedded in the back of your throat to stiffen the soft palate and reduce the vibration that causes snoring.
  • Somnoplasty- a procedure to reduce areas of the soft palate and open the throat.
  • Injection snoreplasty- a non surgical treatment that involves injecting a hardening agent into the upper palate.

Sources of information included WebMD and Mayo

Sleep Apnea- an overview

Sleep Apnea- an overview

sleep apnea cutaway side view

Sleep apnea occurs when the throat is blocked

Sleep Apnea is a common disorder where a sleeper will stop breathing or take very shallow breaths while sleeping.  Apnea means ‘a suspension of breathing’.  These pauses in breathing can last from a few seconds to a few minutes and can occur from 5 to 30 or more times in an hour.

Normal breathing usually starts again often with a loud snort or choking sound.  Your brain, in most cases, recognizes the level of oxygen in the blood is dropping and will move you to start breathing again, often with a gasp.

Sleep Apnea is usually an ongoing (chronic) condition that disrupts sleep and the sleeper will often move from a deep sleep to a lighter sleep when the breathing pauses or becomes shallow.  This results in poor sleep quality, making you tired during the day and is one of the leading causes of daytime drowsiness.

Often Sleep Apnea is undiagnosed.  Most people who suffer from it don’t know they have it since it only occurs during sleep.  Often times your sleep partner will be the first to notice it.  Sleep Apnea is diagnosed through an overnight sleep test called a polysomnogram- a ‘sleep study’.

Three types of Sleep Apnea-

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the most common type and generally means that the airway has collapsed or is blocked during sleep.  The blockage causes the shallow breathing or breathing pauses.  Obstructive Sleep Apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but can affect anyone.  Other factors that increase the risk of  Obstructive sleep apneas include smoking, poor muscle tone, diabetes and old age.  The partial blockage of the airway is what produces the snoring that is often found with Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  Ways to lower the risk of OSA is to avoid alcohol, lose weight, and sleep at a 30 degree elevation of the upper body (gravity helps keep the airway clear)

Central sleep apnea is a less common type and occurs when the area of your brain that controls breathing doesn’t send the correct signals to your breathing muscles.  Central Sleep Apnea can occur in anyone, but is most common in people who have certain medical conditions or take certain medicines. (Find out which- medical conditions and medicine issues)

With Central sleep apnea the individual just doesn’t breathe, the signal to inhale is not given and the sleeper misses one or more breathing cycles.

Complex or ‘Mixed’ Sleep Apnea is when Central Sleep Apnea and Obstructive sleep apnea occur together.  At times, long periods of OSA can bring about CSA.

Untreated sleep apnea can increase the risk of:

sleep apnea issues

Issues that can result from obstructive sleep apnea

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Heart Attack
  • Stroke
  • Obesity and
  • Diabetes

It Can also-

Increase the risk or worsen Heart Failure

Make arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, more likely

Increase the chance of having work related or driving accidents

Sleep apnea is a long term condition that requires long term management through lifestyle changes, mouthpieces, surgery and breathing devices that can successfully treat many sufferers.  To learn more about Sleep Apnea, causes, symptoms and treatments, you can visit the American Sleep Apnea Association website.

Simmons for Kids Mattress Collections

Simmons For Kids

Simmons for Kids by the Simmons Mattress Company-

Simmons for kids offers a line of children’s and teen’s mattress and bedding accessories.  Pediatricians and sleep experts agree that quality sleep is essential for a child’s good health throughout the stages of childhood and early adolescence.  Simmons for Kids fills the need for quality bedding to help in getting quality sleep.

Simmons for Kids sleep stages:

  • Stage One: Babies (0 to 2 years old)- Newborns require a lot of sleep, 10 to 18 hours a day.
  • Stage Two: Toddler (2 to 4 years old)- After a crib, the child is ready for a toddler bed.  Toddlers also need a lot of sleep, 12 to 14 hours.  Your child will need a mattress to support them as they grow, and provide comfort for quality sleep.
  • Stage Three: Kids/Teens (4 years old and up)- As kids grow, sleep becomes even more important for success in school, and proper mental and physical development.  Kids also start using their beds as places to study, read, and talking on the phone.  You will need a mattress that caters to all these needs.

Sleep Sets for Babies and Toddlers:

Simmons for Kids offers the following for mattress sets for Babies and toddlers-

Slumber Time

Slumber Time Firm and Luxury Firm mattresses feature:

simmons for kids slumbertime mattress

Simmons for Kids Slumbertime Mattress Cutaway

  • Durable Support- High Quality coil units offer a supportive sleeping surface and durability that lasts for years.  Tempered steel continuous border wire around the outer edge provides firm support.
  • Clean & Comfy Cover- Mattress cover is specially designed to repel wetness to keep baby’s sleeping surface clean and comfortable.
  • Setting the Standard in Safety- Simmons for Kids mattresses meet or exceed all applicable safety standards.
  • Extra Features- Including side air vents to keep the mattress smelling fresh, solid construction designed to last through toddler years and a limited 15 year warranty against defects in materials and workmanship.

Beautyrest Beginnings

Beautyrest Beginnings Firm and Luxury Firm mattresses feature:

  • Pocketed Coil Springs- Strong and durable Beautyrest Pocketed Coil springs are individually wrapped to provide firm support for your child.
  • MoistureBan Cover- Designed to help repel spills and wetness before they seep in.
  • Setting the Standard in Safety- Simmons for Kids mattresses meet or exceed all applicable safety standards.
  • Additional features- include a tempered steel continuous border wire, side Air Vents, solid construction and a limited lifetime warranty.

Sleep Sets for Kids and Teens:

Simmons for Kids offers the following mattress sets for Kids and Teens-

Slumber Time Standard Height Line:

  • Durability- High quality coil units offer a supportive sleeing surface and durability.  They feature Simmons Surround Around Edge support system to maximize sleeping surface and give seating edge support. Also, No-Flip design and Triton Lite Foundation offers s durable and strong foundation to support the mattress for years
  • Comfort- Soothing Damask fabric is lightweight yet silky and soft.  The cover is specially designed  to help repel wetness and keep the sleeping surface clean and comfortable.  Plus, the foam mattresses help reduce indoor allergens on the lattress surface that may trigger allergic reactions.

Beautyrest Beginnings Collection:

  • Beautyrest Pocketed Coil Springs- Individually wrapped and conform to the shape of your child’s body.
  • Edge Support- Dual rows of heavy gauge Pocketed Coil springs provide a firm seating edge and larger sleep surface.
  • Moisture Ban Cover- Designed to help repel spills and wetness before they soak in.
  • Allercare- Specially designed feature to help reduce indoor allergens on the mattress surface for better rest.
  • Triton Foundation- Built to last and can support up to 2000 pounds of pressure.

Beautyrest Beginnings and Slumber Time mattresses lines offer a number of mattress and Triton Lit Foundations to best fit your child’s sleeping area and sleep situation.  Standard height options to RiteHeight selections allow you to find the perfect mattress profile.

If you are looking for a sleep system for your child, check out the collection of Simmons for Kids lines for babies, toddlers, kids and teens.