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Obstructive and Central Sleep Apnea (cont.)

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Appropriate treatment of sleep apnea is essential when the diagnosis is made in order to treat the symptoms, but more importantly, to prevent the significant co-morbid conditions associated with untreated sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Home Remedies

An important part of the treatment for sleep apnea may include behavioral modifications and lifestyle changes.

Many individuals with sleep apnea may have fewer episodes of apnea if they sleep in certain positions. Most commonly, lying on the back can induce more episodes; therefore, sleeping on the side may be a simple step to improve sleep.

Other behavioral modifications may include improvement of the bedroom setting to induce sleep, good sleep hygiene, avoiding eating or exercising prior to sleep, and using the bedroom only for sleeping. Excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and other drug use should be avoided. Complying with the treatment of other diseases is also essential to the adequate therapy for sleep apnea.

Obesity and weight gain are major contributing factors to obstructive sleep apnea. In some reports, weight loss has shown to be an important step in the treatment of sleep apnea.

Medication for Sleep Apnea

There are no specific medications or natural remedies to treat sleep apnea. However, it is important to note that medications for any underlying conditions contributing to sleep apnea are essential to its adequate management.

There have been investigations of some medications for the treatment of obstructive or central sleep apnea, but there are not any conclusive data available at the present to replace the conventional therapy with the medical devices discussed below.

One medication, modafinil (Provigil), has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be used as an adjunctive therapy for individuals with persistent daytime symptoms of sleep apnea despite adequate conventional treatment. This medication may help daytime sleepiness in patients with sleep apnea; however, it is not a replacement for CPAP or other modalities.

Temporary treatment for nasal congestion or other reversible and transient causes may also be beneficial when necessary.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/24/2016

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