Treatment options will vary according to which sleep disorder was diagnosed. Sleep disorder treatments range from pharmaceutical to behavioral, mechanical and/or surgical.
There are three categories of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea:
- Physical or mechanical therapy
- Non-specific therapy
Which therapy is used depends on your specific medical, lab, and physical exams and other findings.
Physical or mechanical therapies only work at the time they are properly used. Apnea episodes return when they are not utilized.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is the most common treatment. With the use of a snugly fitted face mask or nasal plug, air is blown into the nasal passages, forcing the airway open and allowing air to flow freely. The pressure is continuous and constant and is adjusted so that it is just enough to open the airway.
Dental or oral appliances reposition the lower jaw and tongue, moving them outward, creating something akin to a pronounced “underbite.” Used in mild to moderate sleep apnea, this physically opens the airway, allowing the free flow of air. They are custom-made devices usually fitted by a dentist or orthodontist.
Surgery opens the airway by removal of tissues, like tonsils, adenoids, nasal polyps, and structural deformities that may obstruct it. There are several types of procedures, but none are completely successful and without risk. It is also difficult to predict the outcome and side effects.
Restless Leg Syndrome and Periodic Limb Movement
RLS generally responds well to medication, but since it may occur sporadically with spontaneous remissions, the continuous use of medications is generally recommended for symptoms occurring at least three nights per week. Sleep experts use three types or classes of medications for RLS and PLMD.
It should also be noted that in some cases a simple iron blood test can identify an iron deficiency and a quick trip to the drug store and over the counter iron therapy can fix what ails you.
There are both behavioral treatments and medications for this situation, which can make life livable again. General behavioral measures include:
- Avoiding shift work
- Avoiding heavy meals and alcohol intake
- Regular timing of nighttime sleep
- Strategically timed naps
Medications typically involve stimulants in attempt to increase the level of alertness and antidepressants to control the associated conditions. The effects of stimulant medications vary widely and their dosing and timing must be individualized.
Please contact our office if you have any questions:
(773) 375 1845