Sleep apnea: Diagnosis and treatment options

Sleep apnea can now be described as a widespread disease. Many suffer from it without even knowing it – with serious consequences. The good news is that nocturnal breathing disorders are now easy to diagnose and treat. So it’s worth getting your own apnea risk tested if you notice signs such as constant daytime sleepiness – it could even save your life.

What is sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disease that appears during sleep. There are two main forms:

What symptoms indicate sleep apnea?

With sleep apnea, you don’t notice your waking phases when you need to catch your breath, but at some point, you’ll certainly be surprised that you’re constantly tired and unfocused during the day. This is how you drag yourself through the day, often accompanied by increased forgetfulness. Night sweats, palpitations, or frequent headaches are also typical signs. For a long time, snoring was considered the main indication. Today we know that sleep apnea can be accompanied by light or even no snoring.

What risk factors favor the development of apnea?

In principle, a person of any age or gender can develop sleep apnea. According to the  Lungenliga Schweiz, men suffer from sleep apnea twice as often as women. Although the causes of sleep apnea are still being researched, it is already clear that the following points are partly responsible for its cause:

  • Heredity (including anatomical conditions)
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol

What effect can sleep apnea have on my body?


Theoretically, you can live a long time with sleep apnea, but the quality of life is no longer the same. In the long run, permanent sleep deprivation leads to increasingly severe mental and physical impairments – which can be life-threatening for you as a sufferer.

Irritability and mood swings in the case of chronic fatigue can cause anxiety disorders, for example, and in the worst case lead to depression. In addition, the risk of accidents on the road or at work is greatly increased. If left untreated, sleep apnea also carries an increased risk of developing one of these and other secondary diseases, or of suffering its possible effects:

  • Stroke
  • Heart disease, cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack
  • Diabetes
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Fatty liver, liver cirrhosis
  • Cerebral infarction

The good news is that if the disease is detected early, you won’t have to worry about these lists and restful nights will soon be yours again.

Can I be cured of sleep apnea?

To answer this question, it depends on the exact trigger of sleep apnea. The diagnosis is therefore the first priority. If you are diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and if, for example, heavy nicotine consumption or obesity are the triggers for your breathing problems, it is possible that you will be able to get your nightly breathing problems completely under control again with a consistent change in your lifestyle.

It’s also worth taking a look at any medication lists. Quite a few promote relaxation of the throat muscles to such an extent that nocturnal breathing pauses can occur more easily. You won’t believe it, but the very ingredients in some sleeping pills are capable of this.

If the triggers of your sleep apnea are anatomical conditions, you can be helped in other ways. Coordinated medical aids can be used permanently as symptomatic therapy and ensure unrestricted breathing and an undisturbed night’s sleep. Even severe impairments can be treated. A complete cure of sleep apnea is usually possible in these cases, but often only through a causal therapy, i.e. surgery.

Sleep apnea treatments at a glance

Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Don’t worry! There are now many therapies and aids that specifically support you in living with the disease without restrictions and finally being able to sleep through the night again.

Your partner will also be pleased because often even heavy snoring can be stopped completely. The choice of product is made by your doctor according to the cause of apnea and your individual circumstances. Below are three of the most recommended devices:

Recurrent breathing stops often occur because anatomical conditions favor the tongue closing your airway. By wearing a small lower jaw splint at night, this no longer happens. It clears the airway by moving both your jaw and tongue slightly further forward.

The splint is made by a dentist or orthodontist and often achieves good results for sleep apnea of mild to moderate severity. If your pulmonary specialist or sleep doctor recommends one, talk to your public health insurer about it – some already reimburse the costs.

Using a CPAP breathing mask at night is often not the most popular, but pulmonary specialists cite it as one of the most effective in sleep apnea therapy. In this process, the mask you wear is connected to a special breathing device. This is designed to pump your normal room air into your airway at a slight positive pressure, in a way that prevents your throat from closing in the process. The fit of the mask can be adjusted.

If your doctor considers a tongue pacemaker to be the most effective treatment for sleep apnea in your case, it will be surgically inserted under the chest muscle. You can think of the function as similar to a pacemaker: There are two electrodes. One of them goes to the lingual nerve, keeping your tongue “awake.” The second is located at the diaphragm to monitor breathing. If this stops, the device emits a slight electric shock. Don’t worry, this is not dangerous, nor will it wake you up.

The tongue pacemaker is a noteworthy alternative to apnea treatment without a mask. Besides keeping your airway open, the pacemaker also reduces the oxygen drop in your blood. Unfortunately, the tongue pacemaker is not an inexpensive investment at around 20,000 euros. A possible assumption of costs by the health insurance is probably only possible in exceptional cases, it is important for you to discuss this individually with your service provider.

Sleep apnea: Who makes the diagnosis?

For a reliable statement about the risk of apnea, it is necessary that you have various parameters analyzed, such as your breathing activity and your heart rate at night. One option is to have your family doctor refer you to an external sleep laboratory. You will then usually spend three nights there and your sleep behavior will be monitored by equipment.

The alternative method is to simply move the process just described to your home. This is easily possible since the invention of Sleepiz. Sleepiz is a recognized medical sleep apnea monitoring device that is now recommended and used by many doctors.

The use of Sleepiz is very easy,

  1. You order the Sleepiz device to your home.
  2. You place it next to your bed and switch it on before going to bed.
  3. Your values are measured automatically and completely contactless and transmitted to our cloud.
  4. You send the device back to us and immediately receive an evaluation of your results as a PDF file.
  5. With the results, you can now go to your family doctor and discuss your individual treatment options with him.

Due to the rental, the whole thing costs you only one time, depending on the scope of the package. In addition to the analysis and a discussion of your results with the Sleepiz expert team, the latter price also includes a 20-minute sleep coaching session.

Interested? Then order your Sleepiz device to your home today. If you’re not convinced, we offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Do you have any questions about Sleepiz? In this case, our team is always happy to help you by phone or e-mail, contact us today!