Treatment includes Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), Auto-Adjusted Positive Airway Pressure (APAP) or Bi-Level Positive Airway Pressure (BiPAP), weight management and careful attention to other risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure and smoking. CPAP (or APAP) therapy is the most effective treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). It is highly effective if used properly and consistently. Oral devices may improve or alleviate mild cases of OSA and snoring. Surgical intervention may be considered in selected cases.
1] Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy is the most common way to successfully treat all types of Sleep Apnea. It consists of a device which gently delivers air down the airway. This air is administered using a mask. The positive air which is delivered down the airway acts as a “splint” which prevents the airway from collapsing, thereby maintaining an open airway throughout the night. PAP devices are divided into:
- Constant CPAP: A CPAP machine is designed to deliver a constant pressure throughout the night. The positive pressure delivered through the mask does not interfere with normal breathing, but acts as a “splint” which prevents the airway from collapsing during sleep. Each patient requires a different amount of airflow, which is determined through the Titration test.
- Auto CPAP: An Auto-Adjusted CPAP or APAP machine will automatically adjust the pressure as needed, which tends to reduce the average pressure delivered throughout the night and, therefore, sometimes results in a higher level of patient compliance.
- BiPAP: A Bi-Level or BiPAP machine is designed to deliver two pressures – an inhalation (IPAP) pressure and an exhalation (EPAP) pressure. Some BiPAP models can also be set to include a breath timing feature that measures the number of breaths per minute that a person should be taking. If the time between breaths exceeds the set limit, the machine can force the person to breath by temporarily increasing the air pressure. BiPAP is usually recommended for patients with high pressure settings or patients who suffer from Central Sleep Apnea (CSA).
Who Would Benefit from BiPAP Therapy?
- BiPAP therapy is often prescribed for patients with high pressure settings or low oxygen levels.
- BiPAP machines are often used if CPAP therapy has failed to adequately treat a patient.
- BiPAP machines can be helpful for patients with cardiopulmonary disorders, such as congestive heart failure.
- BiPAP therapy is often prescribed to patients with central sleep apnea, lung disorders or certain neuromuscular disorders.
2] Mandibular Advancement Devices
Mandibular devices, more commonly known as oral appliances, are a treatment option for mild OSA and snoring. The oral appliance pulls the lower jaw forward and holds it in position so that the soft throat tissues do not collapse into the airway, causing sleep apnea and snoring.
Surgical intervention may be considered in selected cases.
4] Sleep and Fatigue Programmes
7HourSleep specialises in Sleep and Fatigue Management in the health and wellness industries and provides an integrated solution designed to:
- Inform and educate on the importance of sleep.
- Assist individuals who feel they are not getting enough sleep or do not feel refreshed when they awake.
- Provide practical advice (consultation session) to address common psychological and socials problems, such as stress, anxiety and depression, that cause poor sleep.
- Assess, treat and monitor patients with sleep disorders.
- Enable patients to monitor progress and compliance on treatment using lifestyle devices and programmes.
- Develop strategies to improve quality and quantity of sleep and to manage fatigue in the work environment and/or at home.