604-558-0055
126 West Cordova St.
Vancouver, B.C.
V6B-1E4
F: 604 682-2700
info@vancouversleepsolutions.com

Treatment Options

As you can tell from all of the negative health effects from chronic sleep apnea, it is very important to treat. The most common cause of sleep apnea is due to upper airway obstruction. This condition of Obstructive Sleep Apnea does not have a cure and can get progressively worse over time. Even though there is no cure, it can be effectively treated to manage your symptoms and decrease the possibility of any long-term health effects.

Sleep treatment varies depending on the individual cause and severity of sleep apnea symptoms. The most common treatment or “Gold Standard” for sleep apnea is CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure. Other options may include Dental Appliances, lifestyle changes or surgery.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Regardless of your medical condition, choosing a healthy lifestyle has been shown to have a positive effect on your well-being, including decreasing the severity of your obstructive sleep apnea. Positive changes include:

  • Losing weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting smoking and/or drinking alcohol
  • Eating well-balanced, healthy foods

CPAP Therapy

CPAP (Continuous Positive Air Pressure) is the gold standard for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP consists of using a mask to direct a gentle, controlled flow of air to keep your airway open while sleeping. There have been many advances in the use of CPAP from quieter CPAP machines, to more comfortable masks. Of all the treatment options, this is the most popular and effective method. Our office encourages everyone to try CPAP before considering use of an oral appliance.

Vancouver Sleep Solutions will work with you to create a treatment plan and optimize your CPAP treatment.

Dental Appliances
MOA
Many patients who initially try CPAP realize that they are not compatible with it or wind up taking it off during sleep. For those who cannot tolerate CPAP therapy, Vancouver Sleep Solutions offers an alternative treatment to CPAP: oral appliance therapy. The custom-made appliances are often more comfortable and convenient for patients, and treat mild to moderate sleep apnea or as a treatment for snoring.

Sleep Hygiene Modification

Sleep hygiene refers to practices, habits, and environmental factors that are important for getting sound sleep. The four general areas important to sleep hygiene are the circadian rhythm (24-hour cycle), aging, psychological stressors that cause mini-awakenings (in which the brain wakes up for just a few seconds), and stimulant use. For many patients, relatively simple lifestyle changes can make an impact on the severity of their sleep disordered breathing. These changes include:

    • Weight loss
    • Avoidance of sedatives and/or alcohol before bed
    • Avoiding sleep on your back

However, if you are not significantly overweight, don’t use alcohol/sedatives, or don’t sleep on your back, then these changes will have little effect. In cases such as these, you should seek the advice of your family doctor to evaluate for a possible sleep disorder.

While sleep apnea just a few years ago was considered to be a disease of “fat, older men,” doctors are now finding significant sleep apnea in thin women and even children.

Positional Retraining

Certain sleep positions are worse than others for causing loud snoring or upper airway obstruction. Vancouver Sleep Solutions can assist in providing you with sleep aids that will assist in modifying your sleep position.

Surgery

Surgery is rarely used for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea. When there is a problem with the nasal airway, such as deviated septum or nasal polyps, nasal surgery may be used to help the patient use CPAP better. Surgery to the palate has been used with some success in the treatment of snoring, but has had less success in the treatment of sleep apnea.

For more information on sleep apnea treatments at Vancouver Sleep Solutions, please call us at 604-558-0055.