CPAP is not the only way
To treat Sleep Apnea
Dr Yau Kay Chung, Julian
Specialist in Otorhinolaryngology
Although there is more than one way to treat sleep apnea, CPAP is generally the most common and the most suitable treatment for most of the patients. Using the CPAP properly, the chance of successfully controlling the AHI is close to 100%.
However, many patients have a sense of resistance to using CPAP. There was a twenty-something patient who diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea after undergoing a sleep test. However, since CPAP is a long-term treatment, he is afraid that it would be discomfort and affect his sleep. Also, he considers his appearance of using CPAP, even worried that there is not enough space in the bedroom to place the CPAP, so he hesitated.
If you also have the worries above, there are actually many other ways to treat sleep apnea. For patients with mild sleep apnea or habitual snorers, they can consider using mouthpiece (oral appliance), which is easier to use and more compact in size. It is certainly not as effective as CPAP and surgical treatment, but it is still a good choice for mild OSA patients.
In addition, sleeping on the side (postural therapy) is also a simple and straightforward way to improve sleep apnea and snoring. However, the sleeping posture will constantly change during sleep, it is not reliable to maintain side sleeping by your own. Therefore, a therapeutic body pillow is needed to help you keep sleeping on the side. But, compared to using a body pillow, CPAP is always a more reliable treatment. Because CPAP can integrate the patient’s sleep data into a report for doctor reference, so the doctor can more accurately understand the patient’s health condition and the compliance with the use of CPAP.
Finally, certain patients are suitable for surgery. Doctor will examine the structure of the patient’s upper airway first, and then select those with a higher success rate for surgical treatment.
Any Treatment is Better Than No Treatment
Patients should not give up treatment because you have tried a certain treatment method and feel difficult. Many medical studies have confirmed that untreated sleep apnea will increase the risk of heart disease, atrial fibrillation and stroke. Although there is no cure for sleep apnea so far, doctors will choose the most suitable treatment based on the condition, acceptance and expectations of each patient, which can often achieve good results.