Sleep apnea doesn’t have to control your life. In fact, there are steps that you can take today in order to prevent sleep apnea from invading your night’s and ruining your days.
In order to prevent sleep apnea, you must first understand the disorder and what causes it. Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes the sufferer to stop breathing on multiple occasions throughout the night. When this happens, the muscles and tissue in the throat are relaxing and causing a block in the airway. The results, which are often symptoms, including heavy snoring, pauses in breathing and waking up short of breath or, in extreme cases, even gasping for air. At first, the sufferer may not realize what happened, but soon will begin to realize a pattern and feelings of fatigue, irritability and lack of concentration during the day. If left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to heart problems, a greater likelihood of a stroke or other serious medical condition.
While all of these things sound very intimidating, the good news is that there are ways to prevent sleep apnea and even control it if already present. Among the ways to prevent sleep apnea are to sleep on your side instead of your back, lose weight if you are overweight or have been diagnosed with obesity, elevate your head using two standard pillows instead of just one, give up cigarettes and alcohol, rid your home of allergens, etc. These are the simplest ways to prevent sleep apnea but, if these prove unsuccessful, a more aggressive approach may be required.
After all treatment methods have been exhausted, including the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) device, a physician may recommend surgery. Before electing for this treatment, however, the patient needs to understand all of the risks associated with any surgical procedure. Many people find success with the CPAP device because it provides pressurized air to prevent the collapse of the throat muscle and tissue during the night. The patient must sleep with their mouth closed to avoid losing the effects of the CPAP. Many users find additional comfort with a product known as the Sleep Genie, which is designed to support the jaw while keeping the mouth closed during sleep. While not intended to prevent sleep apnea, or cure it, the Sleep Genie often provides better quality sleep for sufferers.
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be used as, or in place of, professional medical advice. Before beginning any treatment for snoring, please consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and remedy.