The effects of sleep apnea can range from minor discomfort and inconvenience to life-threatening complications. Anyone who is faced with this condition should do whatever is necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding of its causes and possible treatments. Carefully review the article that follows, and you will be equipped to find a treatment that works for you or your loved ones.
Try losing some weight. Getting into shape has many benefits. If you are on the heavier side and suffering from sleep apnea, you may find that slimming down helps with that as well. Studies have found that overweight and obese individuals are more likely to find relief from sleep apnea by getting themselves to a healthier weight.
Try your best to use your CPAP machine as much as possible if you get one. Sometimes it is hard for people to get used to the CPAP. For this CPAP therapy to work successfully, you will need four hours each day to use it. If you still have trouble adjusting, get at least four hours and try to add more time each night.
Clear up your nasal passage before heading to bed. If you suffer from sleep apnea and have problems with a “stuffed up” nose, using a nasal spray or device can help clear your nasal airway. This is not a permanent solution, but one you can use when your apnea symptoms are the worst.
For people who smoke, the best way to correct a sleep apnea condition is to quit smoking. Smoking is one of the biggest causes of sleep apnea. When people stop smoking their risk of sleep apnea is reduced and they can get a full night sleep within days of quitting.
If you are concerned your snoring may be sleep apnea, try keeping a sleep diary. You would keep a record of the hours you sleep, how many times you wake at night, and whether you feel refreshed the next day. Also, if you have a bedmate, ask them if your snoring is loud and frequent and if you exhibit any gasping or choking sounds.
On easy way to help limit your sleep apnea is to stick to regular sleeping hours. When you stick to a sleep schedule that is steady and consistent, you will be more relaxed and sleep much better. Apnea episode frequency will be greatly reduced if you can get plenty of sleep every night.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can be improved by losing weight if you are obese. Losing about 25 pounds can dramatically improve this condition. For some people that will cure the problem, for others it may just help improve the symptoms that you are experiencing. Try to eat healthy and make sure to get enough exercise every day.
Having your sleep apnea diagnosed by your physician is important; however, some options for self-help may be beneficial to you. A couple of good examples are controlling your weight and quitting smoking. You will also want to avoid alcohol, caffeine or heavy meals within a couple hours of going to bed.
An excellent way to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea is to prop up your head and body. If you can get your head at least 4 inches off of the mattress or elevate your torso from the waist up, you will reduce your symptoms. Try using a foam wedge or cervical pillow when sleeping to do this.
Make sure to do some throat exercises every day to reduce any symptoms of sleep apnea. Try making silly faces and sticking out your tongue. It might seem funny, though according to some new studies, exercising your tongue and jaw on a daily basis can reduce the symptoms that you are experiencing.
One way to determine whether or not you may have sleep apnea is to have your partner report what they see, hear and feel during the night. While you might not notice yourself waking up, your partner may hear you snoring, tossing and turning, or gasping in the wee hours.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about undergoing a sleep study. During the course of the study, you will be hooked to monitors while you sleep. These monitors will tell doctors about the levels of oxygen in your blood, the states of sleep you enter, and whether or not your breathing is inhibited while you sleep.
Keep your throat and jaw muscles in shape. Some cases of sleep apnea are worsened by weak jaw and throat muscles, so these exercises will strengthen your muscles. Just doing some exercises can help your sleep apnea greatly.
Remember that CPAP machines treat the symptoms and will not cure your sleep apnea. The CPAP mechanically forces your airway to stay open while you sleep by continuously passing air through your airways. Although it will help your apnea symptoms, you will have to make other changes in your life if you actually want to cure your sleep apnea.
For sleep apnea patients who are using CPAP therapy, cleaning your equipment is essential to avoiding bacteria buildup that can lead to sinus infections. Simply washing your mask every couple days in a soapy solution of mild dishwashing liquid (i.e. Ivory Clear) is enough to wash away any harmful residue. Alternatively, you can obtain treated wipes from your DME provider or online that can be used to wipe down your mask each morning after use. Disinfecting in a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water is recommended weekly.
Make sure your CPAP mask fits properly. You may be reluctant to use the CPAP at all, but the mask could be the reason for your problems. Talk to your doctor about how you feel with the CPAP machine, and he or she may be able to recommend better masks for you that fit well and feel better.
Because of its potentially very serious impact on the lives of sufferers, sleep apnea is a topic of great concern for many. Those confronted with this condition are wise to research the topic thoroughly before selecting a treatment strategy. By paying close attention to the information contained above, you have the power to find the methods best able to alleviate the symptoms plaguing you or someone you love.