There are a number of ways to treat sleep apnea. Among them, there is a very simple method that doesn’t involve tense hours in the operating room and the use of state-of-the-art equipment. One of the most important steps to cure sleep apnea, which affects an estimated 18 million Americans, is concentrating on weight loss. The American College of Physicians (ACP) released a new set of guidelines regarding how sleep apnea patients must be treated. Michael Smith of MedPage Today reports:
The first recommendation of the guideline committee was that all overweight and obese patients who have obstructive sleep apnea should be encouraged to lose weight.
The investigators concluded that the evidence showed that “some intensive weight-loss programs may effectively reduce signs and symptoms of (obstructive sleep apnea) in obese patients with or without diabetes.”
If this “first line of defense” fails, the ACP recommends continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Since sleep apnea is usually caused by blocked air passages, this method is particularly effective as it involves the use of air pressure to maintain a clear path:
But in cases where patients are not overweight or where weight-loss interventions fail, the next line of defense should be CPAP, which is the most intensely studied therapy, the committee argued.
The evidence shows that CPAP reduces daytime sleepiness, cuts the AHI and arousal index scores, and increases quality of life, although it has not been shown to improve the latter, they reported.
A reliable oral surgeon in Philadelphia like Dr. Farole can administer this type of treatment safely and effectively while giving appropriate advice for your needs. However, if this still fails to resolve the problem, alternative forms of treatment can be considered but at the practitioner’s discretion. Among them are minimally-invasive procedures such as laser-assisted uvula palatoplasty (LAUP). This is a smaller version of the traditional method where a carbon dioxide laser apparatus is used.
If you have sleep apnea, no matter what method applies best to your situation, a Bala Cynwyd oral surgeon can help clear your airways and return your body to its natural sleeping patterns. If your loved ones are constantly kept awake by your snoring, consider visiting your doctor today to explore the various options available to you.
(Article Excerpt and Image From Sleep Apnea? Lose Weight, ACP Urges, MedPage Today, September 25, 2013)