People with sleep apnea, especially commercial driver sleep apnea, need to be evaluated by a medical professional in order to get the treatment they need. Treatment requires an individualized program that focuses on the needs of the person experiencing this debilitating disorder.
Commercial driver sleep apnea needs a complete medical history, physical examination and specific testing done immediately. The condition usually will not respond well to drug therapy. Treatment protocol requires commitment and determination by both the doctor and the patient.
Lifestyle and behavioral changes are a must in the treatment of commercial driver sleep apnea. Mild cases of the disorder respond well to changes as simple as sleep position. Losing weight is a treatment option recommended for obese individuals. Episodes can also be reduced by using special devices that keep individuals on their side during sleep.
For more serious cases of commercial driver sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is usually recommended. It is the most widely used and effective treatment method in use today. The patient sleeps with a mask while continuous air is forced through the nasal passages into the airways. This prevents the throat from collapsing during sleep. Some side effects that might be experienced are nasal irritation, abdominal bloating and headaches. Doctors sometimes prescribe dental appliances for the patient to wear in an effort to control sleep apnea.