Treatment

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If you have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnoea we have many treatment options.

Some people are recommended simple changes to their sleeping habits and may just require something to assist them to stay on their sides when sleeping, Others can try mouth guards to open the airway ( MAS ) although these are usually only suitable for very mild conditions. There is also an option for EPAP ( Provent ) which is worn under your nose each night, to open the airways, however these are also mainly suitable for milder conditions, Or lastly and the most popular, there is CPAP or APAP. (Click here to see what is CPAP)

Patients who had their sleep study in a sleep lab or a hospital who were diagnosed with Sleep apnoea will have already had a titration ( pressure test ) or second night in a lab. These patients will have been given a prescription, which we will need to see before we can commence treatment. The prescription will tell us the required settings for your CPAP machine. In most cases the prescription will also recommend the mask for your CPAP and the kind of machine required. Don’t worry, your mask will be comfortable and your CPAP machine easy to use.

If you had a portable home study, either through us, or somewhere else and your results indicated sleep apnoea your assessing sleep physician may recommend a CPAP trial. These recommendations will be recorded on your sleep study results, and we will need to have a copy before we can commence treatment. If this is the case for you, during your CPAP trial we will monitor adherence to therapy, the efficacy of therapy, and use an APAP machine for titration to determine the right pressure. This is usually for a period of 2 weeks to 2 months. We will help you choose the most suitable and comfortable mask and machine and when we have conclusive results regarding your pressure titration, we will contact your referring sleep physician to approve the swap over to CPAP if required, however, some patients decide to stay APAP therapy instead of swapping over to CPAP.

There is a lot of information to learn when first starting on CPAP or APAP, and you will initially require a few follow ups and machine data downloads to make totally sure you are on the right track and nothing is going wrong. We will work together and go over everything until you are totally confident using CPAP/APAP and are able to monitor and manage your own therapy.

Remember, you will be the best judge if something isn’t quite right, so talk to us as soon as you suspect there might some issues that need to be looked into further.

What Is A Sleep Apnoea?

Most of us have experienced trouble sleeping at one time or another. This is normal and usually temporary due to stress or other outside factors. However, if sleep problems become regular and interfere with your daily life, you may be suffering from sleep apnoea.

Sleep apnoea occurs when there is an interruption to breathing when we are asleep, and the brain is required to “wake” the body up so you can resume normal breathing. There are three forms of sleep apnoea: obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), Central Sleep Apnea and complex or mixed sleep apnea (i.e, a combination of central and obstructive) Apnoea’s can occur hundreds of time each night with serious consequences to your body.

Symptoms of sleep apnoea include:

  • • Snoring
  • • Daytime sleepiness
  • • Slow reflexes
  • • Memory problems
  • • Poor concentration
  • • Depression / moodiness
  • • Irritability
  • • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • • Sore throat / dry mouth
  • • Morning headaches
  • • Frequent Urination throughout the night
  • • Loss of libido/ Impotence
  • • Gastric reflux
  • • Depression
  • • Feeling unrefreshed in the morning
  • • Daytime sleepiness
  • • Falling asleep in inappropriate places – Nodding off

Sleep apnoea can also lead to serious health problems over time including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain. But with treatment you can control the symptoms, get your sleep back on track, and start enjoy being refreshed and alert every day. So if you’re experiencing sleeping problems, it is important to have the cause of your sleeping problems diagnosed.

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea ( OSA ) is the most common condition that causes the upper airway to collapse during sleep resulting in temporary blockages in breathing. There are 2 types of obstructions in the airway for sufferers of OSA:

OBSTRUCTIVE APNOEA (OA)= cessation of airflow for 10 seconds or greater.
HYPOPNEA (H) =>50% decrease in airflow for 10 seconds or greater with a decrease in oxygen saturation of >3%
Both events mostly occur in REM sleep, but have also been recorded in slow wave sleep, which are less common.

As we relax into sleep, our muscles relax too. For OSA sufferers, the upper airway relaxes to the point of blocking the airway causing an interruption to breathing ( an obstruction ).

When you have an obstruction of any type, the oxygen levels in your blood stream decrease. When your brain realises that it isn’t getting enough oxygen, it sends a message to your body to wake you up. This is often associated with a loud snort or gasp for breath. Your heart rate is increased as you wake up, sometimes to double that of its resting rate as the airway opens to let in oxygen.

These breathing pauses typically last between 10 to 20 seconds ( however some can last over 60 seconds!) and can occur up to hundreds of times every night jolting you out of your natural sleep rhythm. As a consequence, you spend more time in light sleep and less time in the deep, restorative sleep you need to be energetic, mentally sharp, and productive the next day.

While most people with sleep apnoea don’t remember these awakenings, they might feel exhausted during the day, irritable and depressed, or see a decrease in productivity.

Sleep apnoea is a serious, and potentially life-threatening sleep disorder. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnoea, call us today to arrange a sleep study.

Symptoms of sleep apnoea include:

  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Frequent pauses in breathing during sleep
  • Gasping, snorting, or choking during sleep
  • Feeling exhausted after waking
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Morning headaches
  • Waking up with shortness of breath, chest pains, nasal congestion, or a dry throat
  • Moodiness
  • Impotence
Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA)

Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA) is the least common condition where breathing is disrupted regularly during sleep, because of the way the brain functions. It is not that you cannot breathe (which is true in obstructive sleep apnoea); rather, you do not try to breathe at all. The brain does not tell your muscles to breathe.

Central sleep apnoea is often associated with other conditions. One form of central sleep apnoea however, has no known cause, and is not associated with any other disease. In addition, central sleep apnoea can occur with obstructive sleep apnoea, or it can occur alone.

Conditions that may be associated with central sleep apnoea include the following:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Hypothyroid Disease
  • Kidney failure
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Damage to the brainstem caused by encephalitis, stroke, injury, or other factors

Sleep apnoea is a serious, and potentially life-threatening, sleep disorder. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have sleep apnoea, see a doctor right away

Complex or Mixed Sleep Apnoea

Complex or mixed sleep apnoea – is a combination of the two types of sleep apnoeas. See Obstructive sleep Apnoea or Central Sleep Apnoea

Central Sleep Apnoea (CSA)

Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA)

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