Sleep therapy centers provide a host of effective treatments and cures for sleep-related symptoms and conditions. Among these conditions, obstructive sleep apnea is a reasonably common sleep disorder characterized by breathing difficulties and pauses when sleeping, irregular sleep, loud snoring, insomnia, and low oxygen levels in the body. The breathing pauses associated with this disorder are known as apneas. One or more obstructions within a person's airway structure cause sleep apnea. Often the obstruction only occurs when a person is in a lying down position. Over time, obstructive sleep apnea can cause fatigue and difficulty with daily tasks due to sleep deprivation. Surgical treatment is often the first consideration when dealing with airway obstructions caused by the structure of an individual's face, jaw, or throat.
Fortunately, positive airway pressure machine therapy has evolved as an effective nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea. Positive airway pressure machines, otherwise known as PAP machines, are the most widely used sleep apnea treatment option. Patients must wear a mask that is fed pressurized room air through a tube from one of these machines. PAP machine therapy involves the use of either CPAP, BPAP, and APAP machines. If you or someone you know is suffering from sleep apnea, but you're wary of surgical treatment and the associated costs, learn more about these three nonsurgical treatments for sleep apnea below.
CPAP Machine Therapy
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machines provide a steady flow of pressurized air to the patient. This type of machine is typically prescribed to patients who have relatively mild sleep apnea or have been recently diagnosed with the condition. Unfortunately, for more extreme sleep apnea, the pressure from CPAP machines can cause difficulty and discomfort when exhaling.
BPAP Machine Therapy
BPAP (bilevel positive airway pressure) machines offer two levels of air pressure for patients. These levels are IPAP (inspiratory positive airway pressure) and EPAP (expiratory positive airway pressure). When a patient breathes in, their device will increase to the prescribed IPAP pressure, which improves air intake. When the patient breathes out, their device will decrease to the prescribed EPAP pressure, making it easier for patients to exhale. This trait of BPAP machines makes them better suited for moderate to severe sleep apnea, where exhaling under pressurized conditions proves difficult.
APAP Machine Therapy
APAP (automatic positive airway pressure) machines automatically detect the quality and state of the patient's breathing and automatically adjusts throughout the night. This capability makes APAP devices ideal for treating severe cases of sleep apnea that can result in irregular breathing and pauses in breathing.
PAP machine therapy is an indispensable option when dealing with the consequences of sleep apnea. To learn more, contact a sleep therapy center.