The treatment of choice for obstructive sleep apnea is a positive airway pressure device (PAP). The treatment consists of a mask that fits over the nose and/or mouth, and gently blows air into the airway to help keep it open during sleep. This method of treatment is highly effective and referred to as the “Gold Standard” treatment for Sleep Apnea.
This method of treatment is highly effective and has enormous health benefits when the PAP device is used consistently and as recommended. This therapy dramatically improves the quality of sleep, reduces Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS), improves mood and function and decreases the incidence of motor vehicle accidents.
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices deliver a single fixed pressure during both inhalation and exhalation.
In patients with positional OSA (for whom OSA is only present when the person sleeps on his/her back in a supine position), devices may be used to help the person reposition him or herself and minimize the OSA. For example, there are several types of wearable sensors, such as the Night Shift neckband, that use vibrations to train the individual not to sleep on his or her back, thereby minimizing OSAS symptoms.
There are also wearable inflatable bumper belts designed to comfortably hold you on your side and prevent you from rolling on your back.
Positional therapy can be used by itself or in conjunction with PAP therapy to reduce treatment pressures by reducing or eliminating supine sleep.
In the milder forms of OSAS, behavioral treatment may be successful and primarily involve such lifestyle modifications as weight loss and limiting the use of alcohol or sedatives.