Recurrence of breathing pauses during sleep can signal obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) problems. Due to the blockage in the upper airway, a person feels choked when sleeping. As a result, sleep quality deteriorates, and the heart comes under pressure because of the low oxygen levels. When you wake up, you experience fatigue, irritation, and sleep. While OSA is a global health concern, Singaporeans witness increased cases of this disorder. More than 30% of the population has mild to severe OSA. With obesity risks, the percentage is only likely to worsen. Getting treatment for OSA is necessary to avoid dangers like hypertension, memory loss, heart attack, stroke, etc.
If you need help with this, visit https://drkhliment.com.sg/sleep-apnea-singapore-treatment-surgery. Let’s see what an ENT will likely recommend to treat this condition.
Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)
It’s a safe and standard process for OSA patients. You wear a mask every night that connects to the CPAP machine. The device sends air pressure to the nose and throat to help the airway stay open when you sleep. Many mask options are available; most can be soft silicone for a comfortable experience. The mask must suit your facial structure. Choices include oral, full-face, nasal, and oral nasal masks. You also get nasal pillows. The machine will be portable and small. Modern technology allows the device to offer fixed air pressure or automatically adjusted pressure levels. Your ENT will suggest the suitable type for your need. If the therapy works, you will notice improved sleep quality, memory, and BP level.
Some people struggle to adjust to CPAP. In that case, oral appliances can be an alternative. These can be detachable functional braces or mouthguards. These are like dental splints that prevent the risk of tooth grinding. However, your doctor will first check your jaw structure and the extent of the airway blockage problem. Someone with the habit of sleeping with an open mouth may not be the right candidate for these. Suitable candidates for these can be those who suffer from OSA due to airway issues at the tongue level. Generally, oral devices require customization. You can expect them to be made of acrylic material.
When CPAP therapy, lifestyle modifications, and behavioural changes fail to produce any impact, your ENT can recommend surgery to fix the upper airway abnormalities caused by large tonsils or something else. Surgery can be successful if the doctor knows precisely how problematic is your airway obstruction. Surgeries usually focus on repositioning the tissues, septums, etc. Because it may involve multiple sites, like the nose, tongue, etc., your ENT will examine your condition well before proceeding. Nevertheless, the success of surgery also depends on the precautions you take post-operation. For instance, you should put your head on an elevated surface while sleeping. If you get sneeze, you should open your mouth to reduce the burden from nasal cavities. Likewise, blowing a nose is an absolute no-no.
Diagnostic Procedures for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Before recommending a specific treatment approach, an ENT doctor will typically conduct diagnostic procedures to accurately assess the severity and underlying causes of obstructive sleep apnea. These may include a sleep study or polysomnography, which monitors various physiological parameters during sleep, such as breathing patterns, oxygen levels, and brain activity. Additionally, the doctor may perform a thorough physical examination of the upper airway to identify any structural abnormalities or obstructions contributing to the condition.
Lifestyle Modifications and Behavioral Changes
In addition to the treatment options mentioned, ENT doctors may also emphasize the importance of lifestyle modifications and behavioral changes in managing obstructive sleep apnea. These can include weight loss programs for individuals with obesity, as excess weight can contribute to airway blockage. Furthermore, adopting healthy sleep habits, such as maintaining a regular sleep schedule and sleeping on one’s side rather than the back, can help improve symptoms and overall sleep quality.
Combination Therapy and Multidisciplinary Approach
In certain cases, a combination of treatment modalities may be recommended by the ENT doctor to effectively manage obstructive sleep apnea. This can involve using a combination of CPAP therapy, oral appliances, and lifestyle modifications for optimal results. Additionally, a multidisciplinary approach involving collaboration with other healthcare professionals, such as sleep specialists, dentists, and respiratory therapists, can further enhance the comprehensive management of the condition.
Long-Term Follow-up and Monitoring
Successful treatment of obstructive sleep apnea requires long-term follow-up and monitoring to ensure its ongoing effectiveness and address any potential complications or changes in the patient’s condition. Regular visits to the ENT doctor are essential for evaluating treatment outcomes, adjusting therapy settings if needed, and addressing any concerns or new symptoms that may arise.
Patient Education and Support
Alongside medical interventions, patient education and support play a crucial role in the management of obstructive sleep apnea. It is important for the ENT doctor to educate patients about the nature of the condition, potential risks, and the significance of treatment adherence. Providing resources and support groups can help patients cope with the challenges of living with obstructive sleep apnea and foster compliance with treatment recommendations.
In conclusion, the effective management of obstructive sleep apnea hinges on crucial factors such as selecting the right clinic, doctor, diagnosis, and treatment options. Singapore offers a wide range of specialized ENT clinics that cater to this condition, providing patients with diverse choices. However, when seeking treatment, it is essential to thoroughly research and evaluate the doctor’s background and skill sets. Paying attention to their certifications and licenses ensures that you are entrusting your care to qualified professionals.
Moreover, comprehensive diagnosis plays a pivotal role in tailoring the most appropriate treatment plan for obstructive sleep apnea. Diagnostic procedures, including sleep studies, physical examinations of the upper airway, and collaboration with other healthcare professionals, allow ENT doctors to gain valuable insights into the severity and underlying causes of the condition. This knowledge paves the way for targeted interventions.
The available treatment options for obstructive sleep apnea, such as Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliances, and surgery, provide a spectrum of choices to suit individual needs and preferences. CPAP therapy offers a non-invasive approach, improving sleep quality, memory, and blood pressure levels. For those who struggle with CPAP, oral appliances can serve as a viable alternative, while surgical interventions can address upper airway abnormalities in severe cases.
Furthermore, a comprehensive approach to managing obstructive sleep apnea involves lifestyle modifications and behavioral changes, including weight loss programs and adopting healthy sleep habits. Long-term follow-up care and monitoring are crucial to ensuring treatment effectiveness and addressing any emerging complications or changes in the patient’s condition. Patient education and support form an integral part of this journey, equipping individuals with the necessary knowledge and resources to navigate the challenges of living with obstructive sleep apnea.
By considering all these factors, making informed choices, and working closely with dedicated ENT doctors, patients in Singapore can embark on a path towards improved sleep quality, overall health, and well-being.