Obstructive Sleep Apnoea: Treatment Options
POSTED 24 Jul 2015

Obstructive sleep apnoea or OSA is sleep disorder that is manageable. The two most common treatment options are changes in one’s lifestyle and the use of a breathing apparatus as a form of therapy, during sleep.

Treatment options for OSA largely depend on its severity that is why it is a must that a person with a suspected OSA see a certified sleep specialist. What are the possible treatment options for people with OSA?

Changes in Lifestyle

It is possible to manage mild cases if OSA by changing a person’s lifestyle and behavior. Losing weight greatly reduces the threat of OSA as obesity is a risk factor.

Other modification in one’s behavior includes:

• passing up on sedatives and sleeping pills
• reduction or total avoidance of alcohol consumption
• cessation from smoking to stop swelling in the upper airway
• changing positions and sleeping on one’s side and for improved breathing

A person with a blocked nose usually compensates by breathing through his mouth. This could lead to snoring and obstructive sleep apnoea. A person with a persistent congested nose should see a doctor to eliminate the possibility of allergies, sinusitis or deviated septum.

CPAP or Continuous Positive Airways Pressure Machine

Since its introduction in the early 1980s, the CPAP has been ranked as the most effective and cost-efficient method of managing and treating OSA. A specialized machine with a blower continuously and consistently produces positive pressure airflow. In most cases, the machine is connected to a face mask via tube or directly to the nose. A CPAP machine steadily and gently increases the air pressure in the patient’s throat to hold it open thus preventing snoring and possibly OSA. Compliance is at least 4 hours each night, from 5 to 7 nights weekly.

BiPAP or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure

Air pressure delivered during exhalation and inhalation is aptly adjusted through a BiPAP machine. Hypopnoea is eliminated during inhalation while apnoea is eliminated during exhalation. OSA patients who cannot tolerate CPAP pressure and those with infections and other barotraumas complications, are recommended for BiPAP treatment.

Automatic Positive Airway Pressure or APAP

An automatic positive airway pressure machine is very similar to a CPAP machine. The machine is highly sensitive to the patient’s breathing – automatically adjusting the pressure. An APAP machine has only two settings – high and low.


Surgery is not recommended to treat people with OSA. However, if everything else fails, then this option is the last. Other procedures linked in treating OSA are tracheotomy, tonsillectomy, weight loss surgery and adenoidectomy. The removal of excess throat tissue in the airway is another option,

Oral Appliance or OA

An oral appliance is a specialized dental plates recommended to people with OSA. They have to wear the oral appliance during sleep to push the patient’s lower jaw forward in order to open up the throat thus preventing obstruction or snoring. These oral appliances are called Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD) or Mandibular Repositioning Appliance (MRA) or Mandibular Advancement Splints (MAS).

It must be noted that proper consultation with a licensed, medical specialist is highly recommended.

If you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea, Perth CPAP can help you. Call us now at 1300 744 441.

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