Healthy Living

Differences Between the Forms of Sleep Apnea

Treatment of all Forms of Sleep Apnea

Currently there is no standard of treatment for complex sleep apnea, the best method so far has been seen with the use of a CPAP set to the lowest setting that will allow for the opening of airways that close in obstructive sleep apnea to get enough air while sleeping. The low setting prevents against symptoms of central sleep apnea from developing at the same time.

The use of  machine is the most common form of treatment in both complex and obstructive sleep apnea with the CPAP being the most common. It provides just enough positive air pressure to keep the airways that would normally collapse with muscle relaxation to remain open so that the patient gets enough air throughout the night with the aid of a mask over the nose and mouth. A BPAP is similar to the CPAP in that it also provides positive air pressure into the airways. What’s different about the BPAP is that it provides varying air pressure based on whether the patient is inhaling or exhaling based on sensor reading through the air mask. The BPAP is used with patients that has a difficult time breathing out against the constant incoming pressure of the CPAP machine.

In patients with central sleep apnea the preferred method of treatment is adaptive-servo ventilation or ASV. With an ASV device the airflow through the mask is adjusted to match the normal waking breathing patterns of the patient. This way when the patient stops breathing the machine quickly adjusts to compensate for the patients lack of breathing. When the patient does finally breathe again, the machine once again readjusts itself.