If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnoea, it is important that you get the right treatment so you can get the sleep that you need.
That’s why we at Manse Medical provide various treatments for different kinds of sleep apnoea. We’ve compiled this guide for sleep apnoea treatment, covering;
- What sleep apnoea is
- Different types of sleep apnoea
- How it is diagnosed
- What are its causes
- The kinds of treatments that are available at Manse Medical
A good night’s sleep is important, and sleep apnoea is worth leaving untreated. So, here is everything you need to know about sleep apnoea.
What is sleep apnoea?
Sleep apnoea happens when the muscles inside the throat relax too much during sleep, causing one’s airways to narrow to the point where the lungs cannot get enough air. The brain recognises this, interrupting sleep so the person can breathe.
The interruptions can be frequent, resulting in fragmented sleep. This contributes to negative factors such as feeling unrefreshed, fatigued and sleepy during the day, as well as poor concentration and performance of daily tasks.
There are different degrees of sleep apnoea, such as;
- normal sleep – fewer than 5 interruptions per hour
- mild sleep apnoea – between 5 and 15 interruptions per hour
- moderate sleep apnoea – between 15 and 30 interruptions per hour
- severe sleep apnoea – more than 30 interruptions per hour
What types of sleep apnoea are there?
There are different types of sleep apnoea that someone can have, each characterised by the different ways in which sleep is interrupted by the body. These different types of sleep apnoea share similarities, but their differences are important because they directly tie into how they can be effectively treated.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnoea, in which the muscles in the back of your throat become too relaxed to allow for normal breathing. When the throat muscles have only mildly relaxed, you may start to snore in your sleep. While snoring is a common symptom of OSA, not everyone who snores has OSA.
Because of this, treatments for OSA involve various methods of opening up your airwaves. That way, your lungs receive enough oxygen while you sleep, and your brain doesn’t need to intervene and interrupt your sleep by waking you up so you can breathe.
Central Sleep Apnoea
Central sleep apnoea is a form of sleep apnoea that is less common and can be more difficult to diagnose and treat. Unlike obstructive sleep apnoea, which is affected by the muscles, central sleep apnoea occurs when the brain does not send the correct messages to the muscles that control breathing.
While this results in the same breathing obstructions associated with obstructive sleep apnoea, it requires different, more elaborate kinds of treatment. Additionally, central sleep apnoea is a condition that can affect those with underlying neurological conditions, making its diagnosis and treatment all the more important.
Complex Sleep Apnoea
Complex sleep apnoea is a more recently identified form of sleep apnoea that combines aspects of both obstructive and central sleep apnoea. With complex sleep apnoea, your throat muscles relaxing will cause breathing obstructions that affect your sleep.
However, a key sign of complex sleep apnoea is that breathing problems will persist even after OSA treatment has been administered, and treating complex sleep apnoea means identifying the other causes of breathing obstruction. This form of sleep apnoea is relatively recent and therefore, has not been studied as extensively as obstructive or central sleep apnoea. It is therefore more difficult to diagnose and treat.
How does Manse Medical diagnose sleep apnoea?
At Manse Medical, we provide different kinds of sleep tests that can diagnose sleep apnoea.
- Level 1 Attended Sleep Tests – A sleep technologist monitors your sleeping patterns in the clinic in order to ensure that you are assessed under the optimal conditions to provide the most accurate sleep disorder diagnosis.
- Level 2 At-Home Sleep Tests – If your sleep disruptions aren’t as prominent, you might be referred for a home sleep test. For these tests, you will be provided with sleep monitoring equipment that assesses your sleep habits while you sleep inside your home.
What are the causes of sleep apnoea?
There are various contributing factors for sleep apnoea, including;
- Being overweight or obese, as fat on the inside of the neck surrounds the throat making it narrower
- Age, as throat muscles tend to relax more during sleep in older people
- Alcohol, which makes the throat muscles relax more during sleep, leading to sleep apnoea and snoring
- Certain illnesses, such as reduced thyroid production (hypothyroidism) or the presence of a very large goitre
- Large tonsils and adenoids, which may cause sleep apnoea in children
- Certain medications, such as sleeping tablets and sedatives
- Nasal congestion and obstruction
- Facial bone shape and the size of muscles, such as an undershot jaw
What kinds of sleep apnoea treatment does Manse Medical provide?
Manse Medical provides treatment for each of the different kinds of sleep apnoea. These range from larger, more elaborate treatments to smaller and less intrusive ones, depending on the severity of your sleep apnoea.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
CPAP therapy is a common treatment for sleep apnoea. A CPAP machine delivers constant and steady air pressure via a mask connected to a hose to a sleeping patient. This is to help you breathe consistently as you sleep. The continuous stream of pressurised air that a CPAP machine delivers to you pushes against any blockages in your airways, ensuring that the lungs have a consistent flow of oxygen.
For complex sleep apnoea, you might require Bi-Level positive airflow pressure (BiPAP), an alternative CPAP machine that offers two pressure settings: one for inhaling and one for exhaling. A BiPAP device comes with a backup respiratory rate that allows patients with OSA to initiate breath, whereas CPAP machines are intended for patients that can initiate breath, but have that breath be interrupted.
Mandibular Advancement Splint (MAS)
A mandibular advancement splint (sometimes referred to as an oral device) is a “mouthguard” that is worn while asleep. The fitting on the top teeth is connected to the fitting on the bottom teeth. The bottom fitting of the device is aligned slightly forward, resulting in the airway opening more than at the resting point. This can help prevent airway collapse during sleep, eliminating the sleep interruptions that occur from sleep apnoea.
Some people only get sleep apnoea when they sleep on their back. To help with this, CPAP providers also provide devices that allow for comfortability while also preventing you from sleeping on your back, preventing sleep apnoea.
Are there lifestyle adjustments I can make to treat my sleep apnoea?
In order to treat sleep apnoea, it is also important that you undertake lifestyle changes. These include losing weight if you are overweight or obese and also cutting down on one’s alcohol intake.
How can I contact Manse Medical for Sleep Apnoea Treatment?
Book your appointment online by selecting your preferred clinic and choosing from the list of our available specialists.
Manse Medical is the premier respiratory and sleeping medical clinic in Melbourne, Western Victoria, as well as South-East South Australia. We provide the highest level of care for patients with respiratory and sleeping disorders.