1. Basic lifestyle changes may help to treat you. Everyone needs good rest, so if you can’t get good rest on your own, try doing things like:
- Getting regular physical activity
- Limiting caffeine and alcohol
- Staying away from phones and electronics before bed
- Creating a relaxing nighttime routine you can use to wind down
2. CPAP : CPAP stands for Continuous Positive Airway Pressure. The device is a mask to be worn around the face. The CPAP is composed of 3 parts.
The motor is a small compressor, drawing in air from the room and gently adding pressure to the desired amount required to clear the airway obstruction. The air intake has a filter to purify the air. Most motors also contain a water tank, which allows the air you breath in to be moist. The motor is quiet, and shouldn’t keep you or your partner awake.
The hose simply connects the motor to the face mask, carrying the pressurized air to the recipient. Usually, the tube is 6 feet long, and can be heated to avoid condensation within the tube.
The mask comes in many shapes and sizes, with multiple strap options. The three main types are nasal pillows, nasal masks, and full face masks.
a) Nasal Pillows are lightweight with minimal bulkiness. The mask rests on the lower lip while blowing the pressurized air through two nasal tubes. They are good for active sleepers who turn a lot in their sleep. However, this mask type is not ideal for those with higher pressure needs, because the airflow is very direct and can be uncomfortable.b) Nasal Masks are triangularly shaped, and fit over the whole nose, with multiple nose pieces of varying sizes to choose from. The mask offers suction, allowing you to comfortably sleep on your side. Because the nose piece rests on the bridge of the nose, some complain of headaches caused by pressure.
c) Full Face Masks are ideal for mouth breathers, as the mask covers the nose and mouth. The pressure is less direct, and therefore less uncomfortable and more manageable when the patient needs a higher pressure. The mask takes up the entire face, making night-time reading or TV difficult.
Evidence shows that, when using a CPAP regularly and properly, incidents of high blood pressure throughout the night as well as the following day are significantly lowered. Additionally, CPAP severely lowers levels of proteins which cause inflammation. Though the machine is clunky, is it relatively soundless, and provides a surgery-free solution to a serious problem.
3. BiPAP: BiPAP is short for bilateral positive airway pressure. Similar to a CPAP, the BiPAP is a non-invasive breathing mask worn during sleep. Different from the CPAP, the BiPAP offers high pressure during inhale, but a lower pressure during the exhale. This option is usually offered to patients who tried a CPAP, but found difficulty breathing against the high pressure air flow during the exhale.
4. Surgical treatment is also an option. The shape of your airway can be enlarged, making the back of the throat larger. You could also reduce the size of nose tissues, or provide additional roof support in your mouth to prevent collapse during relaxation that would occur during sleep.