Sleep Apnea Remedies
Many people who excessively snore probably think nothing of it. In some cases, a deeper problem lies behind the snoring. If your snoring is so disruptive, your partner is disturbed, it may be time for you to seek treatment, as you may be suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea remedies vary from simple lifestyle changes to invasive surgery.
To address mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea, sleep apnea doctors often first suggest patients change some of their habits. These may include:
- Weight loss
- Getting moderate exercise most days of the week
- Quitting smoking
- Drinking less alcohol
- Sleeping on the side rather than the back
- Oftentimes, one or more of these changes prove enough to turn around the negative effects of sleep apnea.
When lifestyle changes do not prove helpful in addressing sleep apnea symptoms or are not applicable to a certain patient, your doctor may turn to other sleep apnea remedies like oral appliances. These are specially designed and fitted to your mouth. Depending on the type of oral appliance your doctor issues, your jaw or tongue will be pushed forward to allow for an unobstructed airway during sleep. Oral appliances are for the most part comfortable to wear and should not take more than two weeks for patients to adjust to wearing during sleep.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure)
For more serious cases of sleep apnea where a dental appliance is unable to improve the situation, more involved sleep apnea remedies like CPAP must be sought. This treatment uses a mask placed over the nose during sleep. Pressurized air is sent from a nearby machine via a hose to the mask and into your airway to keep it open. The air pressure is adjustable, and your doctor will prescribe the appropriate setting for you. CPAP is an effective way to decrease sleep apnea symptoms, although it can take some time to get used to wearing a mask to bed.
Doctors only turn to surgery once all other sleep apnea remedies have failed. No matter the type of surgery for sleep apnea, the goal is to enlarge your airway, allowing for easier breathing and reduction of snoring. Surgical options for sleep apnea include: tissue removal, jaw repositioning, implants placed into the soft palate, and in rare cases a tracheostomy where a new airway is created.
To find out more about sleep apnea remedies, schedule a consultation with our expert today.