Sleep Apnea Treatment Options: CPAP Treatment As Compared to Surgery! A Sneak Peek

Waking up frequently in the night while catching up with breath can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). In this disorder, your breathing can pause for over 10 to 120 seconds again and again when you sleep at night.
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options: Waking up frequently in the night while catching up with breath can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).[Pixabay]
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options: Waking up frequently in the night while catching up with breath can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).[Pixabay]

By Silvia Watson

Waking up frequently in the night while catching up with breath can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). In this disorder, your breathing can pause for over 10 to 120 seconds again and again when you sleep at night. It can disrupt your blood circulation due to increased CO2 levels and cause the production of a stress hormone called cortisol. Your sleep will repeatedly break as you experience choking and snoring. Because of sleep disturbance during the entire period, you can be sleepy, tired, and moody in the morning. Your focus will be affected. Without medical involvement at the right time, your sleep disorder can escalate into diabetes, heart illness, stroke, depression, hypertension, or memory loss.

OSA can be precipitated by pathophysiological and structural issues, which need thorough examination for detection and treatment planning. An ENT specialist can investigate your upper airway and other areas to locate the cause of breathing obstruction. Typical reasons include deviated septum, blocked nose, nasal inflammation, enlarged throat tissue, cysts, tumours, etc. Do you suspect having OSA? Consider visiting https://earnosethroat.com.sg/sleep-apnea-treatment-singapore-sleep-clinic for guidance. Most patients are usually recommended CPAP therapy for OSA. Surgeries are often the last resort.

Cornerstone of OSA treatment - CPAP

CPAP therapy is the mainstay of OSA treatment, offering significant benefits for most moderate to severe OSA patients, especially those with comorbidities. This therapy delivers adequate air pressure to the upper airway, preventing the Apnea-Hypopnea Index (AHI) from reaching abnormal levels. It's a standard procedure for balancing blood pressure, improving sleep quality, and reducing daytime fatigue. Even those with refractory hypertension can experience an improvement in their blood pressure. Mild symptomatic OSA cases are often recommended this therapy to enhance their daily life.

Nevertheless, the long-term effects of CPAP therapy can be predicted even within a few weeks. However, patients must use the device every day during bedtime. Your experience with the device can depend on the choice of mask, ongoing medical support, awareness, and other factors. Some patients may have to opt for surgery if this doesn’t help them much. A few of them may also be advised to continue their CPAP therapy after surgery per their condition.

The last option – surgery

Surgical options are offered when other therapies show no visible impact. However, the decision is made only after a thorough examination. It's also necessary to choose a proper surgical method for a patient. A standard procedure is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) or palatal surgery. An ENT specialist can perform this surgery to remove tonsils and a bit of the soft palate to clear the breathing passage. They can sometimes combine it with tongue surgery to improve the outcomes by working on the lower jawbone muscles and tongue. If the cause of trouble is a deviated septum, you may undergo septoplasty. It helps correct the position of the nasal wall.

CPAP is a safe treatment for OSA. When patients don't respond well to this, ENT specialists try other, mainly invasive methods. They will explain everything to you and seek your approval before doing anything.

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