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  • Treatments for Sleep Apnea

The main treatments options

a health specialist who explains to his patient the treatment for sleep apnea

There is no medication for sleep apnea, but treatments are very effective:

The continuous positive airway pressure

The continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device is the treatment of choice for sleep apnea.

CPAP treatment keeps your airways open by providing a constant flow of air through a mask while you sleep. The forced air keeps your airways open and prevents apnea.

At Biron, we offer several models of devices and masks in addition to a wide variety of accessories to facilitate your treatment while making it as comfortable as possible.

There are three types of CPAP machines:

  • Fixed: The device delivers a fixed continuous positive pressure.
  • Automatic: The device delivers a continuous positive pressure which is variable according to the respiratory events during the night.
  • Bi-level: The device delivers two pressure settings: one for inhalation, the other for exhalation.

At Biron, we offer the following devices:

The ResMed AirSense™ 10 is available in several models:

  • Fixed
  • Automatic
  • Automatic for her
  • Bi-level (AirCurveTM)

The Philips DreamStation™ is available in several models:

  • Fixed
  • Automatic
  • Bi-level

The Fisher and Paykel SleepStyle™ is available in one model:

  • Automatic, but the device can also be programmed in fixed mode

A prescription from your doctor specifying the type of treatment (automatic, fixed or bi-level) is required to obtain a device. Keep in mind that your respiratory therapist specializes in sleep care and would be the best person to help you determine which device is most appropriate for your needs according to your prescription.

Our sleep care clients can now place their orders online. Renew your equipment in just a few clicks with our easy-to-use catalogue.

Travel devices

What differentiates a travel CPAP machine from a standard CPAP machine is its size. The travel device is much smaller, therefore much easier to transport. Note that the humidifier is not included with the starter system.

  • The AirMini™ travel CPAP device from ResMed
  • The DreamStation Go travel CPAP device from Philips

Masks

To offer an optimal level of comfort to each individual, three types of masks are available at Biron:

  • Nasal pillows have tips that are placed at the entrance to your nostrils to create a seal. Smaller than a nasal mask, it frees your field of vision and reduces the contact points on the face.
  • Nasal masks only cover the nose, freeing your field of vision and reducing the contact points on the face.
  • **Full face masks **cover the mouth and nose, depending on the model. They are recommended for patients who are cannot tolerate a nasal mask or one with mouth openings that impede the effectiveness of their therapy.

Accessories

A number of accessories are available to make your treatment easier and increase your daily comfort.

  • The hose holder is used to suspend your tubing. This facilitates position changes, improves the stability of your mask during position changes and creates a better seal.
  • The pillow is specially designed for CPAP therapy and is suitable for all types of masks. It provides maximum comfort thanks to the hollow areas and reduces the risk of your mask moving in different sleep positions (lateral and prone). The pillow supports the neck perfectly and ensures the proper alignment of your spine.
  • The bedside organizer is a storage bag that allows you to keep your tubing and mask dust-free when not in use. This bag also lets you to put all your equipment in a specific place so that everything looks tidy around your bed.
  • External lithium batteries have a battery life sufficient for approximately one night of treatment. They are small in size and recharge very quickly.
  • Cleaning wipes are used to facilitate the daily cleaning of your mask. They contain no alcohol or latex, and are biodegradable.

The oral splint

The oral splint (mandibular advancement device) is a device moulded by your dentist that you wear at night. It keeps your lower jaw in a forward position (by a few millimetres) to facilitate airflow. The oral splint is mainly for people with mild or moderate apnea.

Positional therapy

Positional therapy (positional belt) is useful if the apnea occurs when you are on your back, not on your side. It controls your apnea by preventing you from sleeping on your back.

Medication

While there are no medications to completely get rid of sleep apnea, some treatments can help reduce it:

  • Sleep apnea may be aggravated by allergic rhinitis. Nasal corticosteroids can improve your treatment.
  • If you have gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), a condition that can worsen apnea, an antireflux medication (e.g. omeprazole) may help reduce it.

Other treatment: surgery

In some cases where CPAP treatment is not effective or well tolerated, surgery may be an option. The types of surgical procedures designed to reduce snoring and apnea are relatively ineffective, and the apnea tends to reappear afterwards.

  • Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP). This procedure involves removing the uvula and part of the soft palate (which vibrates during snoring) to clear the airway. It is done under general anesthesia and can reduce snoring, but it does not prevent the throat from collapsing. The success rate is about 40%.
  • Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy – These procedures involve removing the tonsils and adenoids, which are nodes in the throat. If they are very swollen (very common in children), they can block airflow and cause apnea. This procedure is mainly recommended for children with obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Weight loss surgery – To facilitate weight loss, the Canadian recommendations are to begin with CPAP treatment. If bariatric surgery is done, it will decrease the severity of the apnea, but in 95% of cases, the apnea will not go away completely.