How to treat sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is one of those sleep disorders that push people to seek treatment. There are different ways that one can go about taking care of this particular disorder. Some of the solutions used in this particular case include surgery, lifestyle change, breathing devices and mouth pieces. There are also some medicines that can be used in a bid to take care of this disorder.
What are some of the reasons to treat sleep apnea?
- To help ensure that one can breathe normally during sleep
- To stop loud snoring
- Stop sleepiness during the day
When you treat sleep apnea, it also helps in the treatment of the conditions which are related to it such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and stroke.
The first thing you need to do before proceeding with treatment, you need to visit a physician. They will assess your situation in a bid to establish which treatment mode is likely to work well for your situation. Most people are able to handle the situation through a lifestyle change especially if the case is mild. If the sleep apnea is either severe or moderate, you may need to go for surgery or make use of breathing devices.
When you keep getting sleepy during the day despite the treatment, the doctor will try to find out from you if you have been getting enough sleep. A normal adult is meant to sleep for around 8 hours a day children need to sleep for more hours. If the doctor establishes that the recommended treatment is not working for you, they may need to try out other treatment options.
Treating Sleep Apnea with Lifestyle Changes
If you are one of those people who suffer from sleep apnea, then it is about time you decided to change your lifestyle. One way to do this is to quit taking alcohol. You can also stop the use of medicine that makes you sleepy. These are just some of the things that make it impossible for you to sleep with an open throat. Being obese is also a factor you may need to address since it also affects the way you sleep. You should also avoid sleeping on your back since it blocks the throat. You should try and sleeping on your side because this keeps your throat open. If you have trouble sleeping on your side, you can make use of special pillows that encourage you to sleep that way.
You need to keep your nostrils open and this may need you to make use of nasal sprays or medicines which treat allergies. Before taking any form of medication, make sure you talk to your doctor so that he can prescribe the right medication for you. Smoking is also one habit that you need to stop if you want to treat sleeping apnea. This is easier said than done and you may need to join a support group for you to do it successfully.
Treating Sleep Apnea with Mouthpieces
This is mainly recommended for people who suffer from mild apnea or the ones who tend to snore loudly. It is also known as an oral appliance. You can visit an orthodontist or dentist so that they can help design a mouthpiece that fits you perfectly. You should ensure that it fits you perfectly and this may mean a few visits to the doctor for some adjustments.
Breathing Devices for Sleep Apnea
People who suffer from severe sleep apnea may turn to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). This is a mask which is placed over the nose and nose. It then facilitates the flow of air straight into your throat and this helps to keep the throat open. This helps to stop snoring though it may not necessarily mean that the sleep apnea is over. You need to keep using the CPAP till the sleep apnea is treated.
Most of the time the technicians usually come to your home to set up the equipment on the doctor's orders. You will need to make adjustments in future to ensure that the equipment is functioning well. There are some people who may not react that well to the CPAP and it ends up triggering allergic reactions. The reactions include things such as a running nose, headaches, dry mouth and irritated skin on the face. There are some people who experience stomach bloating or even discomfort because of wearing that mask.
If you develop any allergies or side effects as a result of using the CPAP then you need to work with a CPAP technician or nurse to help you make the necessary adjustments to deal with this situation. There are times that the mask needs to be adjusted to make sure that the size fits you well. There are times that the air needs to be moisturized before you can inhale it to avoid a dry throat. You can also choose to use a nasal spray in a bid to ensure you do not suffer from a dry throat.
There are different CPAP masks to choose from. If you are uncomfortable with the one you have, you can ask the doctor to help you choose one that works better for you. CPAP helps people who suffer from severe cases of sleep apnea.
Surgery for Sleep Apnea
In some cases of severe sleep apnea, surgery may be the best treatment. This is done on the air passages in a bid to widen them. It involves removing excess tissue in the throat or mouth, resetting the jaw, stiffening the airways or shrinking them. You need to visit a hospital especially when the surgery involves the shrinking of tissue. This may also force you to take some medication. Stiffening involves incision then inserting a small piece of stiff plastic.
When it comes to surgery, you may need to be admitted into a hospital. This is because the doctor has to give you some sleeping medicine prior to the surgery. The recovery takes about two weeks and during this period you may experience some throat pain.
In some cases, children who suffer from sleep apnea may be suffering from tonsils. In such a case, surgery may help to remove the tonsils and cure it. In some instances, the doctors may decide to observe the tissues to see if they will shrink on their own. This situation is most common in growing children.
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