Alaska Sleep Education Center

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

Posted by AASM Staff on Jul 19, 2020 9:36:00 AM

A study shows that fatigue is significantly reduced and energy increased in individuals with obstructive sleep apnea after 3 weeks of CPAP therapy.1 Most people with obstructive sleep apnea often experience fatigue and excessive daytime sleepiness. CPAP therapy is the treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea. CPAP provides a steady stream of air through a mask that is worn during sleep, which keeps the airway open to prevent pauses in breathing and restore normal oxygen levels.

Obstructive sleep apnea in each of the 59 study participants had been confirmed in an overnight polysomnography in a sleep lab. Obstructive sleep apnea was defined as having an apnea-hypopnea index of 10 or more hypopneas (partial reductions) and apneas (complete pauses) in breathing per hour of sleep.

They were randomly assigned to have either placebo CPAP therapy or therapeutic CPAP therapy, and they came back to the lab for a night of either mock titration or CPAP titration. They were taught how to use the equipment and told to make use of it at home every night for 3 weeks.

The study results show that fatigue scores on 2 independent measures were significantly reduced with CPAP therapy: on the Multidimensional Fatigue Symptom Inventory, from 8.76 at the beginning of the treatment to -0.10 after treatment; and on the fatigue-inertia subscale of the Profile of Mood States, from 7.17 at the beginning of the treatment to 4.03 after treatment. These results reveal that individuals were no longer experiencing clinically significant fatigue levels following the 3 week period.

After 3 weeks of CPAP therapy, energy levels also increased, with a significant score increase from 14.28 at the beginning of the treatment to 16.52 after treatment on the vigor-activity subscale of the Profile of Mood States. Changes in fatigue and energy weren’t observed in individuals who received placebo CPAP therapy.

Further analysis revealed that CPAP therapy seemed to be particularly beneficial for individuals who were excessively sleepy or fatigued prior to treatment. Daytime sleepiness in this group was significantly reduced with CPAP therapy, with their score on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale going down from 13.0 at the beginning of the treatment to 8.9 after treatmenSleep Apnea Treatment [INFOGRAPHIC]

Image via: AHealthBlog

Today, sleep disorders are increasingly recognized as having serious health consequences. Yet, there is also an increase in the number of sleep-disorder cases that general physicians — well-meaning and devoted to their patients — attempt to evaluate and treat on their own.

The fact is, there are good reasons why sleep medicine is classified as a distinct specialty and why your sleep difficulties should be managed by a physician specializing in sleep medicine.

With more than 84 different sleep disorders, reaching an accurate diagnosis can be challenging without a sleep physician’s additional training and expertise.

In addition, symptoms can overlap, as can underlying causes and contributing factors. Without the informed care of a specialist, treatment can be inappropriate, ineffective, or even nonexistent. As an example, people who seek medical care for sleep apnea usually go without treatment for an average of seven years!

Trust your sleep problems to a sleep expert.

At Alaska Sleep Clinic, our staff has the training, skill, and expertise necessary to diagnose and treat your sleep disorder. With training and seasoned know-how, our staff can handle the subtle science of diagnosis and treatment of these complex and sometimes elusive problems. Our compassion and dedication facilitate the continuity and quality of care that you deserve and the restful, restorative sleep you need.

Get a Consultation.

Couple sleeping through husband's CPAP.

If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, we are happy to schedule you for a thorough consultation.  

  • Do you feel rested and refreshed upon awakening?
  • What is it you are experiencing and how frequently?                                                                                                                                
  • Do you sleep better under different circumstances?                                                                                       
  • Have you ever been told that you snore or stop breathing in your sleep?                      
  • Do you have ongoing medical problems?

During your initial consultation, you’ll be asked all the pertinent questions necessary to understand your situation completely. 

We are always available to consult with your physician about your needs and your care. Sleep disorders often are related to other medical conditions, and treatment for a sleep disorder must consider these concerns, medications, previous treatments, etc. So we will call to consult with your doctor and request the information we need.                        Why?

Because at Alaska Sleep Clinic, we believe that communication is essential to your good health…and to getting a good night’s sleep.

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Topics: sleep apnea, treatment, bipap, CPAP therapy

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