Sleep Apnea: What Is It & How Can It Be Treated

Sleep apnea is essentially a sleeping disorder that causes the patient’s breathing to rapidly stop and start during the night. Patients that suffer from sleep apnea find themselves waking up in the middle of the night to catch a breath, and often wake up with a sore, patchy, or dry throat. These patients also tend to snore a lot during the night, and tend to feel sleepy or tired during the day despite having gotten a full night’s worth of sleep. Given below is a guide to sleep apnea, its types, and its plausible treatments.

What are the types of sleep apnea?

There essentially exist three types of sleep apnea that differ on the basis of which part of the human body is malfunctioning leading to its cause. These include obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea.

While obstructive sleep apnea refers to a condition in which the individual’s breathing at night stops and starts rapidly due to the throat muscles relaxing, central sleep apnea is caused by the brain not sending the right signals to the muscles in the human body that control breathing. Complex sleep apnea, on the other hand, is a combination of both obstructive and central sleep apnea, and has the throat muscles relaxing and to top it off the brain not sending the right signals.

How can sleep apnea be treated?

Depending upon the severity of sleep apnea, its treatment may vary. For instance, for mild sleep apnea, a medical practitioner may simply recommend lifestyle changes such as losing extra weight or quitting smoking. However, for chronic and more serious cases, there essentially exist two main types of treatments: Therapies and Surgery.

1. Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Therapy

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure therapy or CPAP therapy is essentially a sleep apnea treatment that moderates the patient’s air pressure during their sleep. A CPAP system is essentially the size of a tissue box that is complete with an air compressor, a mask and a tubing system. The patient wears the mask during the night and the air system open the patient’s blocked airway by slowly passing air through the tube into the mask. For patients looking for added comfort, they can use a CPAP system that comes with a pillow and essentially works the same way. Patients can find the best CPAP pillow in Australia, and it essentially serves the same purpose while giving the patient more liberty to toss and turn freely in bed.

2. Surgical Options

For patients with sleep apnea, surgery is an option only when CPAP doesn’t work for them, which is usually prevalent in patients with jaw problems. Some of the surgeries that can help with sleep apnea include tissue removal or tissue shrinkage from the top of the patient’s throat and the rear part of their mouth, jaw repositioning, and nerve stimulation.


Sleep apnea is a serious sleeping disorder, and the sooner it is treated the better it is for the patient. While sleep apnea doesn’t essentially put the patient’s life at risk, it can do so in the longer run if the situation prevails. In addition to the patient feeling lethargic during the day, sleep apnea also leads to heart diseases and Type-2 diabetes which can further put the patient’s life at risk. It is also linked to road accidents since patients do not get a full night’s sleep and hence the condition should be treated with rigor and zeal.

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