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Treatment and Drugs used for Sleep Apnea


Non-surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea:

•    Behavioral changes - weight loss, changing your sleep position, avoiding alcohol and sleeping pills, stop smoking and/or exercise
•    CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) - The primary treatment for obstructive sleep apena.
     ♣    CPAP - the first machines used, one pressure setting.
     ♣    BiPAP (Bi-level positive airway pressure) - two pressure settings
     ♣    "Smart" CPAP (these machines makes pressure adjustments depending upon your needs.)
•    Dental appliances
•    Medications - topical nasal decongestants, nasal steroid sprays, diet medications or hypothroid replacment therapy.  If the apnea is caused by an underlying condition (i.e. heart failure), appropriate treatment of such condition is recommended. 

Surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea:

Surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea must address your specific individual anatomic problem(s).  Surgery sounds simple but is not the miracle cure.  Potential general risks of surgery include:
•    Pain
•    Loss of work
•    Failure to cure sleep apnea
•    Scar tissue
•    Change in your voice
•    Infection
•    Problems swallowing
•    Bleeding
•    Anesthesia risks
•    Other unforeseen surgical complications

Surgical treatments:

•    Nasal airway surgery
•    Tongue reduction
•    Genioglossus advancement - "pulls" the tongue forward, "preventing" the tongue from blocking the airway while sleeping
•    Tracheostomy
•    Maxillomandibular procedures - "pulls" the upper and lower jaws forward
•    Palate implants
•    Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP) - surgery preventing the collapse of the palate, tonsils and pharynx.
•    Hyoid suspension - the hyoid bone is "pulled" upward and sutured to the jaw
•    Bariatric surgery - obesity surgery
•    Combination of the above

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