Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) treatment options

Treatment options for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) include the following:

  • Three forms of Positive Airway Pressure (PAP) therapy
  • Oral appliance therapy
  • Alternative therapy

Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy

Positive airway pressure therapy is the most effective way to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). By creating a “pneumatic splint” for the upper airway, PAP therapy prevents the soft tissues of the upper airway from narrowing and collapsing. Pressurised air is sent from a therapy device through air tubing and a mask to the upper airway.

Patients with severe sleep apnea are able to experience restful sleep with positive airway pressure therapy. Learn more about the types of PAP therapy below.

CPAP, APAP and bilevel therapy

Positive airway pressure therapy can be delivered in a number of ways:

  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): pressurised air at one fixed pressure
  • Automatic positive airway pressure (APAP) therapy: automatically adjusted air levels based on a patient’s breathing (suited to patients with REM-related sleep apnea, positional apnea or those who are noncompliant with standard CPAP therapy)
  • Bilevel therapy: higher inspiratory pressure and lower expiratory pressure (appropriate for certain patients who are non-compliant)

Find out more about the ResMed devices that use CPAP, APAP and bilevel therapy.

Alternative treatment options

Surgery is also an option for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), though it comes with associated risks and complications. Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (UPPP), the most commonly performed surgical procedure for OSA in the United States, is effective in reducing snoring initially. Over the long term, UPPP cures snoring in 46% to 73% of patients who have had the surgery1.

Risks of untreated OSA

Untreated Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can lead to a host of complications and serious health risks. Finding the right treatment for your patient improve compliance rates and diminish associated risks.

References

  1. Kashima ML (2007). Selected disorders of the nose and throat: Epistaxis, snoring, anosmia, hoarseness, and hiccups. In NH Fiebach et al., eds., Principles of Ambulatory Medicine, 7th ed., pp. 1849–1864. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.