There are a variety of sleep apnea treatment options, so there is sure to be something that works for you.
Here’s how treatment for sleep apnea can help you get plenty of sleep at night.
One of the most common treatments is a mouthpiece for sleep apnea. This device is custom created by a dentist to fit against your teeth and mouth. When you wear this mouth guard for sleep apnea, it helps shift your jaw forward, which increases your upper airway flow, allowing you to get more air and preventing air resistance that contributes to sleep apnea. The device can often replace the CPAP machine and is designed for people with mild to moderate sleep apnea. You’ll have to participate in a sleep study before your doctor will recommend a sleep apnea mouthpiece. Make sure you have your mouthpiece custom fit because the ones sold over the counter might not fit correctly, which could hinder treatment or make your condition worse.
When it comes to sleep apnea treatment options, this is one of the most popular. Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, is a viable choice for people who suffer from moderate to severe sleep apnea. The treatment involves wearing a mask over your nose while you sleep, which helps increase the air pressure, helping keep your airways open while you sleep so that you don’t suffer obstruction, which will wake you up repeatedly throughout the night. This is likely the first thing your doctor will recommend, but many users of CPAP machines find the device bulky and would prefer an alternativee treatment for sleep apnea. If you’ve tried CPAP and don’t like it, consider talking to your doctor about trying a mouth guard for sleep apnea instead. You may find it more comfortable and easier to use while you sleep.
If you want to explore all of your options before choosing between a machine or a mouth guard for sleep apnea, it pays to consider the other breathing apparatus choices you have. In addition to the CPAP machine, there is the Auto-CPAP machine, which works in a similar way to the traditional CPAP device but automatically adjusts the air pressure as you sleep and is one of the effective sleep apnea treatment options. This choice is ideal for someone who has severe sleep apnea and needs several adjustments to the air pressure while they sleep. Expiratory positive airway pressure, or EPAP, is another option. This device is a single-use piece that fits directly into each nostril that allows you to freely breathe in, but as you breathe out, your breath must pass through the holes in the device, helping to increase air pressure for keeping your airways open while you sleep. This is a choice that is most useful for someone with mild sleep apnea, and it can help decrease daytime sleepiness and improve quality of sleep at night.
While your doctor won’t likely suggest surgery until you’ve tried a mouthpiece for sleep apnea or one of the other devices available, it could be the answer you’ve been searching for. When other treatment options for sleep apnea fail, surgery can help open your airways so you can sleep safely at night. The purpose of the operation is to remove tissue that could be blocking your airways when you lie down. Often, your doctor will remove tissue from the back of your mouth and the top part of your throat. In some cases, your tonsils and adenoids may also be taken out. This aims to cut down on vibrations in your throat and can help open airways so you can breathe properly during sleep. Depending on your case of sleep apnea, your doctor may also reposition your jaw, insert rods into your soft palate to keep airways open, or create a new passageway for airflow in your mouth.
If you are overweight and suffering from sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend getting more exercise and losing some weight. This can help take some of the pressure off your airways when you lie down, helping cut the symptoms of sleep apnea dramatically. For many people, losing excess weight and getting to a healthy number on the scale can reverse sleep apnea and return you to normal sleep habits. Experts suggest getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to help you shed pounds and improve your overall health. You might also try sleeping on your side or stomach at night instead of your back to help open your airways and increase air pressure and blood flow.
Smoking can take a toll on your breathing and may be contributing to your sleep apnea. Quitting is one way to help improve conditions and is one of the sleep apnea treatment options. Likewise, alcohol and certain drugs can relax the muscles in the back of your throat, contributing to the blockage of your airways, restricting air flow and interfering with breathing during sleep. You should also avoid taking sleeping pills if you have sleep apnea. If you need help quitting smoking or drinking, talk to your doctor about your options.
Discover top tips for a healthy body and mind with our weekly wellbeing newsletter.
Join our mailing list today.