About Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Written by Dr. Anitha Paderla, MBBS | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Jul 28, 2021
Font : A-A+

Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

CPAP is found to be immensely beneficial to patients and therefore is a popular treatment for OSA. Nearly 55% of patients use it regularly in the night for at least 4 hours.


Patients may experience the following side- effects with the use of CPAP:

  • Skin problems
  • Nasal congestion
  • Dry eyes
  • Aerophagia (taking in too much air)
  • Dermatitis

b)Auto titration devices are helpful in enabling the least required pressure. It is also possible to alter the pressure according to the requirements of the patients at any desired time.

c)Bi-level positive airway pressure is a slightly different form of CPAP and employed when the patient is unable to adjust to CPAP. Since the air pressure needed to avoid respiratory obstruction is less on expiration, the bi-level positive airway pressure machines are equipped to change the pressure according to the patientís inhalation and exhalation.

3.Oral Appliances

Oral appliances are not as consistently successful as CPAP treatment, but they may be useful in selected patients, with mild sleep apnea, who cannot tolerate CPAP or do not want to undergo surgery. Oral appliances which are employed for the treatment of OSA are available in two types :mandibular advance devices and tongue-retaining devices.

a)Mandibular advance devices look very similar to the athletic mouth guards employed in contact sports. Made of plastic, these devices help in opening the airway by keeping the jawbone in a forward position. This is highly effective in mild forms of OSA.


b)Tongue-retaining devices also look like an athletic mouth guard. The device consists of a suction cup that fits in between the upper and lower teeth. The tongue rests in the cup and gets pulled in the front during the night. This position of the tongue helps in preventing any obstruction at the bottom of the tongue. Tongue-retaining devices may be recommended for patients who snore heavily, but do not have significant apnea.

These devices are useful in treatment of mild forms of OSA. Certain disadvantages with these devices could be salivating excessively and temporal mandibular joint pain.

4. Surgical Treatment

Patients who cannot tolerate CPAP may be candidates for surgical intervention to alleviate obstructive sleep apnea.


A procedure called 'Uvulopalatopharneoplasty (UP3)' is the most common surgical procedure for treating OSA. Uvulopalatopharneoplasty (UPPP) is beneficial in relieving snoring and could involve removing a part of the soft palate, uvula, and unwanted peripharyngeal tissues. In certain cases, the tonsils may also be removed. However, this procedure may not offer a complete solution for obstructive sleep apnea.

Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty (LAUP) is helpful in a series of office treatments and is more commonly used than UPPP.

Tonsil or adenoid enlargement may be behind OSA in children. In such cases tonsils and adenoids are removed surgically to alleviate OSA.

Citations   close

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Dr. Anitha Paderla. (2021, July 28). Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Medindia. Retrieved on May 26, 2022 from https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/obstructive-sleep-apnea-treatment2.htm.

  • MLA

    Dr. Anitha Paderla. "Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea". Medindia. May 26, 2022. <https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/obstructive-sleep-apnea-treatment2.htm>.

  • Chicago

    Dr. Anitha Paderla. "Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea". Medindia. https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/obstructive-sleep-apnea-treatment2.htm. (accessed May 26, 2022).

  • Harvard

    Dr. Anitha Paderla. 2021. Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Medindia, viewed May 26, 2022, https://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/obstructive-sleep-apnea-treatment2.htm.

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.



See this recent publication that indicates that obstructive Sleep Apnea - Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with coronary artery disease (CAD). We hypothesized that OSA is independently related to the risk of CAD or death from any cause. In this observational cohort study, patients referred for OSA underwent polysomnography, and subsequent CAD events (myocardial infarction, coronary angiography or bypass graft surgery) or death were recorded. Patients were divided into exposure (AHI 15) and comparison groups (AHI Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Death, Shah NA et al New Haven, CT

Health Topics A - Z

    Drugs for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
    What's New on Medindia
    Monkeypox Outbreak: What it is, How Does it Spread & the Prevention
    Seasonal Allergy Medications
    How to Choose the Best Eczema-Friendly Moisturizer for Children?
    View all

    Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

    Most Popular on Medindia

    Daily Calorie Requirements Blood Donation - Recipients How to Reduce School Bag Weight - Simple Tips Vent Forte (Theophylline) Indian Medical Journals Sinopril (2mg) (Lacidipine) Calculate Ideal Weight for Infants The Essence of Yoga Drug - Food Interactions Pregnancy Confirmation Calculator

    Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

    © All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

    This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use