Brain damage caused by severe
sleep apneacan be reversed, according to a recent neuroimaging study. This study is the first to show that ongoing positive airway pressure therapy can reverse the damage to white matter caused by
severe obstructive sleep apnea. Lack of
sleepdue to OSA may also contribute to the disease. Professor Stradling hypothesized that patients with OSA usually don't wake up enough due to apnea episodes to change their sleeping position from supine to lateral.
This “postural defense” can fail as pressure to sleep increases. Although there is no definitive study to date, CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) can restore postural defense by reducing pressure during sleep. The evidence supporting this claim comes from a study that measured respiratory arousal before and after the use of CPAP, and found that subjects with OSA wake up more easily due to respiratory stimuli after three months of treatment with CPAP compared to before treatment (. Sleep deprivation may also contribute to OSA through effects on genioglossus activity.
Patients without obstructive sleep apnea, but subject to lack of sleep, had reduced genioglosous activity in CO2 electrostimulation studies compared to controls without lack of sleep. In addition, genioglossus function returned to normal after allowing subjects to sleep (. Although there is no real cure for sleep apnea, CPAP is more commonly used because it has been well studied for obstructive sleep apnea and has been shown to effectively treat it. To avoid sleeping on your back, try sewing a tennis ball on the back of the top of your pajamas or placing pillows behind you while you sleep on your side.
Studies have shown that upper respiratory tract stimulation leads to a significant improvement in symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea and improvements in quality of life. Therefore, the first step for many patients is not only to start a diet and exercise program, but also to start an appropriate treatment for sleep apnea so that they have the energy and will necessary to maintain new healthy habits. Having obstructive sleep apnea puts you at risk for other conditions, such as high blood pressure and stroke. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when any part of the airway, from the tip of the nose to the lungs, collapses during sleep and interrupts breathing.
A CPAP machine applies enough air pressure to the mask to keep the upper respiratory tract open, preventing snoring and sleep apnea. These plastic inserts are placed in the mouth and prevent the tongue and tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing on the respiratory tract during sleep. If you don't treat sleep apnea, it can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening conditions. Your healthcare provider can help you find one and learn more about treatment options for sleep apnea.In children (whose bodies are still growing), surgical treatment often yields positive results.
However, due to the fact that obstructive sleep apnea is caused by anatomical features, it is complicated to answer whether a permanent “cure” exists or not. To get out of this cycle, CPAP is often recommended as it has been shown to effectively treat obstructive sleep apnea.