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CPAP & Other Ways To Help Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms

CPAP & Other Ways To Help Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms

CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) is typically the best way to treat moderate to severe sleep apnea. That said, if you have mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), or are looking for ways to help make your CPAP treatment even more effective, there are some lifestyle changes you may want to consider. 

Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that requires medical diagnosis and treatment in order for sufferers to avoid a range of serious negative health effects. So, while they may share many of the same symptoms, sleep apnea isn't just snoring.

CPAP for Sleep Apnea

Continuous positive airway pressure, (better known as CPAP), is typically the first and most effective treatment option for those patients suffering from medium to severe sleep apnea. However, if your sleep apnea symptoms are mild, or if you want to try other approaches to help increase the effectiveness of your CPAP treatment, there are a few lifestyle changes that you may want to consider trying.

Lifestyle changes may not work for everyone, but in many cases these approaches help to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.

Lifestyle Changes To Help Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms

There are a number of lifestyle changes that have been shown to be effective in helping people reduce their sleep apnea symptoms. If you're looking to improve the quality of your sleep these changes may be right for you. But remember, sleep apnea is a serious health condition. Before making any lifestyle changes it is essential to check with your doctor to ensure that these changes are right for you.

Weight Loss

A number of studies have been done on the effects of excess weight and sleep apnea symptoms. Many doctors agree that if you are carrying extra weight, losing a few pounds can be very effective in reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea.

People who are carrying extra weight often have extra tissue around their airway which can reduce airflow to the lungs while sleeping. Weight loss can help to shrink this excess tissue and allow air to flow more freely. Some studies have even shown that losing as little as 10% of your body weight can reduce sleep apnea symptoms by as much as a 30%! 

Avoid Alcohol and Sedatives

For many people, a glass of wine in the evening can be a great way to feel more relaxed, but alcohol and sedatives can also have a relaxing effect on your throat muscles. Relaxed throat muscles can cause your airway to become obstructed and result in pauses in your breathing. Try to avoid alcohol and sedatives for at least 4 hours before heading to bed, it could help you to sleep better at night.   

Sleep on Your Side

People who sleep on their back face an increased risk of sleep apnea because gravitational pull increases the tendency for the jaw, tongue and soft palate to drop backwards toward the throat, narrowing the airway and leading to breathing difficulties. Training yourself to sleep on your side could help you to prevent this from happening. Try propping pillows up against your back while you lie on your side, or place a tennis ball in the back pocket of your pyjamas when you go to bed, to help prevent yourself from rolling onto your back while you sleep. 

Dental Appliances

If you are experiencing mild sleep apnea symptoms, a dental appliance may be the right solution for you. These devices hold your tongue and jaw forward, preventing them from slipping back into the throat and causing an obstruction. Sleep apnea dental appliances are relatively comfortable to wear and may help to improve the quality of your sleep. Speak to your dentist to find out more about custom-fitted dental appliances to treat sleep apnea.

If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea, speak to your dentist at Scott 72 Dental Centre to schedule an appointment. Your dentist may be able to help you get a better night's sleep.

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