Recommended Treatment Path & Success
The recommended treatment path for non-apneic snoring and sleep apnea are very similar. The first recommendation a health care professional will make is for the patient to modify aspects of their lifestyle such as reducing or eliminating the consumption of substances such as nicotine, caffeine and alcohol, weight loss, and positional training to prevent the patient from sleeping on their back.
Following these attempts, a CPAP machine or oral appliance will be prescribed depending on the severity of the patient’s sleep apnea. Severe sleep apnea is typically treated using CPAP. If the patient’s sleep apnea is only mild to moderate in severity or they refuse or fail a trial use of CPAP they may be treated using an oral appliance.
Failing successful treatment using CPAP or an oral appliance there are several surgical procedures available that increase the stability of tissues in the nose and oropharynx. More complex procedures are reserved for treating sleep apnea, but snoring may be treated surgically as well. The success of surgical interventions is difficult to gauge since a controlled study using placebo surgery is unethical because of the inherent surgical risk. Further study is required to ascertain the effectiveness of surgery, but currently it appears to have limited success and should be held in reserve until all other treatment options are exhausted.
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