Sleep apnea affects millions of Americans. Many specialists believe it is underdiagnosed. Though it is more common among adults that suffer from diabetes and/or obesity, it isn’t necessarily accompanied by other chronic medical conditions.
Sleep apnea occurs when the airway in the throat is repeatedly blocked, causing interrupted breathing during sleep. Not surprisingly, it is often accompanied by snoring, fatigue, and irritability.
The good news is that there are sleep apnea treatment options that can help men and women achieve a better night’s sleep. When they enjoy quality restorative sleep after years of poor sleep, they feel better during the day, have more energy, and are generally happier. Plus, sleep apnea treatment can eliminate snoring!
Since you are reading this post on a dentist blog, you probably know that oral appliance therapy (OAT) provided by a sleep medicine dentist is one of the treatments for sleep apnea. OAT is often the ideal treatment for obstructive sleep apnea. There are two other kinds of sleep apnea–central sleep apnea and complex sleep apnea–that require other types of treatment methods.
Let’s discuss one of the treatment methods for central and complex sleep apnea.
Adaptive Servo-Ventilation (ASV) is primarily used for people with central sleep apnea. A non-invasive ventilatory treatment and positive airway pressure (PAP) unit, ASV works by continuously monitoring for abnormalities and adjusting to correct individuals’ breathing impacts.
CPAPs (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and BiPAPs (Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure) are usually the first treatments recommended for central or complex sleep apnea. If these fail to be effective, many sleep apnea physicians prescribe ASV.
What are the benefits of adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV)?
- Many patients believe it is more comfortable than a CPAP machine
- Many patients believe it is easier to use than a CPAP machine
- It works better for specific types of sleep apnea like central and complex sleep apnea
It offers variable air pressure based on the user’s breathing patterns. In this sense, it is more personalized because it adjusts to each patient’s specific needs.
What are the downsides to Adaptive Servo-ventilation (ASV)?
- An ASV device is costlier than a CPAP device
- There are certain pre-existing conditions that exclude some individuals from being able to use ASV, one of which is chronic heart failure
How is ASV different from a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine?
While ASV and CPAP machines are both categorized as positive airway pressure units, they have a handful of differences. CPAP works by continuously delivering a pre-set or fixed amount of air pressure to the user. On the other hand, ASV responds to the user’s breathing and adjusts the amount of air pressure it administers.
ASV might not be the right treatment method for everyone, but it’s important to understand your treatment options as you work to manage your sleep apnea condition.
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