Sleep apnea is a common sleeping state experienced by men and women today. It is characterized by high snoring, sleep disturbances and breathlessness at sleep. It is caused by blockage or restriction of the airway when the neck or tongue muscles become too relaxed during sleep.
Common signs of sleep apnea are fatigue today, headache and weight loss or gain. If left untreated, a patient may also suffer from sleep arrhythmia, myocardial infarction, hypertension and diabetes.
There are many ways to treat this condition. Use stiffer pillows, sleep on your side instead of your back, and have your head raised in bed, prevent sleep apnea in mild cases. Staying away from alcohol and cigarettes before sleep also helps.
Try to eat light snacks about an hour before you sleep to help you sleep more easily. Be careful, however, not to eat right before you sleep, as the tendency is for the food to slide into the membrane and block the air from passing.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. It is also considered to be the most effective, non-invasive treatment for sleep apnea. CPAP stands for continuous positive air pressure. This means using a mask and a machine that gives air pressure.
The first way to help treat your sleep apnea is to clean up your lifestyle to live healthier. This means that you stop smoking, exercise, eat right and reduce your alcohol intake. One of the main causes of sleep apnea is the weight because fat deposits accumulate in the back of the throat which makes it more difficult to breathe. Live a healthier lifestyle and you can remove the fat deposits.
You also need to change how you sleep at night. Avoid lying on your back while you sleep, as this causes fat deposits in your throat to close your airway. Most sleep apnea patients can have a more restful sleep if they avoid sleeping on their backs, but rather on their sides.
Then you need to talk to your doctor about a few different medical options. First, ask them about a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine and mask to help you. This equipment is the most effective way to treat sleep apnea because it keeps the airflow moving through the respiratory system when you sleep.
Another thing you need to consult with your doctor if is about surgery may be a possible option for you. If you have not yet removed your tonsils or adenoids then this is a possible option to relieve the symptoms of sleep apnea. Another new operation that is less invasive means removing fat deposits on the back of the throat.
CPAP therapy works by providing continuous air pressure to the airway the whole time you sleep. The air pressure works to prevent air passage from collapsing while sleeping, and is kept low enough to not interfere with the breathing process, but high enough to effectively reduce sleep apnea.
Having a mask on and with air pressure pumped into the body when you sleep is a bit wary of. When you start with CPAP therapy, try using the mask while doing other activities like reading or watching TV so you get used to it. Make sure the mask fits you properly so it does not leak.
There are also certain risks and side effects when treating CPAP. In the early stages of treatment, the patient is exposed to living dreams and nightmares. Other side effects include dry or sore throat, nasal discharge, runny nose, snoring and abdominal bloating. It's also normal for you to feel a bit dizzy in the morning when you wake up when you first use CPAP therapy.
Depending on the individual, side effects may slow down after some time, but even with the benefits of CPAP treatment, some individuals may find it difficult to adjust to sleep with this device.