Sleep Apnea 101: Five Treatments For Better, Deeper Sleep
For most people, snoring isn't anything they worry about. However, snoring can be a symptom of a larger issue: sleep apnea. A potentially dangerous breathing disorder, sleep apnea causes people to suddenly stop—and start—breathing repeatedly during the night. Fortunately, there are several treatment options for those suffering from sleep apnea.
So how can you treat sleep apnea? Here are five treatment options that might work:
1. Weight Loss
Those who are overweight may be more prone to developing sleep apnea. This is because overweight people tend to have more tissue in their throats. This extra tissue can sag and cause breathing issues, such as sleep apnea, when sleeping. Fortunately, losing weight can be an effective way to treat or cure sleep apnea.
Exercise is important for everyone, but it is even more so for those who suffer from sleep apnea. Exercising will help those who are overweight lose weight. It will also help strengthen the lungs, which will improve breathing. It can also help keep airways open. So by adding some exercise to your routine, you might be able to cure (or at least manage) sleep apnea.
3. Elevate Your Head
Another easy way to help manage sleep apnea is by elevating your head. By elevating your head, you prevent extra tissue in the throat from sagging. This helps to keep airways open, which reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea. If you suffer from this sleep disorder, consider using an extra pillow or wedge to help elevate your head.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Sedatives
If you suffer from sleep apnea, you should also avoid alcohol and sedatives. These might help you feel relaxed, but it won't help your sleeping disorder. This is because these relax the body too much and can cause the muscles and tissues in the throat to sag, which hinders breathing. So avoid alcohol and sedatives, especially before you go to sleep.
Finally, if lifestyle changes don't help your sleep apnea you might want to consider surgery. There are several surgical sleep apnea procedures that can drastically improve your symptoms; some might even cure you. Two of the more popular surgical options include nasal surgery and uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. Nasal surgery involves straightening out the nasal passages and fixing a deviated septum, while uvulopalatopharyngoplasty removes excess tissue in the throat. Both are quite effective at treating sleep apnea.
As you can see, there are many treatment options for sleep apnea. If you are interested in learning more about treating your symptoms or managing the disorder, visit an ENT specialist for more information. These professionals can determine what treatment options will work best for your sleep apnea—because remember, everyone is different.