Healthy Living

A Sleep Apnea Survivor's Guide

Treating Sleep Apnea

There aren’t that many indicated treatments for sleep apnea outside of lifestyle changes. Physicians don’t tend to prescribe sleeping aids because for someone suffering from airway blockages, that can be fatal. In moderate to severe cases, a CPAP device may be used and in the most severe of cases surgery can be performed to remove large tonsils or adenoids that cause blockages. A Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty is the most common surgery performed on patients with sleep apnea, where excess tissue in the throat is removed to widen airways and diminishing the severity of obstructive sleep apnea. A tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy can also be performed to remove the tonsils or adenoids that are too large and contributing to airway blockage. These surgeries are perhaps the mildest forms of correcting sleep apnea, for severe cases more invasive reconstructive surgeries such as tracheotomies, maxillofacial advancement, radiofrequency ablation or palatal implants may be necessary.