A whopping 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. This is about ten times the number the WHO had initially estimated. So if you suffer from sleep apnea, it’s nice to know that at least you’re not alone.
Sleep apnea is a benign sleep disorder but could potentially turn into a serious condition. Sleep apnea is much more than loud snoring and disrupted sleep. If you don’t treat sleep apnea early enough, it could have other life-shortening consequences.
Thankfully, there are tons of sleep apnea solutions you could try out to cure your sleep apnea. If you can address it early enough, you won’t have to worry about more life-threatening effects like hypertension or heart disease.
In this post, we’ll be looking at foolproof ways to cure your sleep apnea.
1. Positive Airway Pressure Devices
You can treat moderate to severe apnea with special positive airway pressure or PAP machines that you use with breathing masks. This is the most effective treatment for sleep apnea but works better for moderate and severe cases. For mild sleep apnea, you should consider the other solutions.
The PAP machines come attached with a breathing mask that you wear over the nose. Sometimes you may wear it over the nose and the mouth. As long as the mask fits snugly, you’re good to go.
The breathing mask supplies air under pressure through a flexible tube. This pressurized air is what prevents your airways from collapsing, which causes sleep apnea. There are many types of PAP devices, but the main ones are:-
- CPAP- Continous Positive Airway Pressure
- VPAP- Variable Positive Airway Pressure
- BiPAP- Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure
Patients who consistently use PAP devices show dramatic improvement in their sleep. PAP devices also mitigate the effects of sleep apnea on the patients.
2. Oral Treatments
The go-to solution for most medical practitioners to treat sleep apnea is oral appliances. Just like PAPs, you wear these oral appliances on your mouth, just like a mouthguard. However, unlike PAPs, these oral appliances aren’t actual devices.
These appliances keep your lower jaw forward, which prevents the airways from closing. They also prevent your tongues and muscles from collapsing and blocking the airway. Most people may refer to CPAPs as oral appliances, and they won’t be wrong.
In most cases, however, oral appliances refer to mouth devices that aren’t electric. There are plenty of FDA approved oral appliances in the market for your choosing.
3. Adjusting Your Sleeping Position
Curing your sleep apnea can be as simple as adjusting your sleeping position. Even a tiny change in your sleeping position can dramatically reduce your sleep apnea position. However, changing your sleeping position permanently isn’t as easy as you’d think.
Adults can reduce their sleep apnea if they sleep on their backs. Studies show that sleeping on your back could worsen your sleep apnea. However, for children, sleeping on their backs actually mitigates their sleep apnea.
Changing your sleeping position from one that you’re used to typically takes a lot of time. However, there are a couple of ways you can speed things up. One way is by buying a comfortable mattress so you can sleep on the side.
Apart from mattresses, you can also buy special pillows that help you sleep on the side. With a special pillow, and the most comfortable mattress money can buy, you’ll be good to go.
4. Watch Your Weight
It isn’t uncommon for doctors to tell obese people to lose weight to cure or reduce their sleep apnea. Too much weight may lead to obstruction of your nasal passages, which causes sleep apnea. In fact, it’s obesity in the upper part of the body that leads to sleep apnea.
You don’t have to reduce ten pounds to treat your sleep apnea. Even a small decrease in weight could do wonders for your sleep apnea. As long as you adopt health weight-loss techniques, or you’ll be doing more harm than good.
5. Drop the Booze and the Cigarettes
It’s not something you want to do, but it’s something you have to do. Alcohol and cigarette smoking could adversely affect your sleeping patterns. This, in turn, could make your sleep apnea worse.
Furthermore, alcohol makes your throat muscles relax, which makes you more likely to snore. Sometimes alcohol could inflame your throat, which is even worse.
We all know that tobacco isn’t good for your throat and your entire respiratory system. Like alcohol, tobacco inflames your throats, which makes you snore at night. So quitting smoking and drinking can go a long way in treating your sleep apnea.
6. Nasal Decongestants
Nasal decongestants are famous for taking care of nose blocks, but they’re also good for sleep apnea. These decongestants are great for mild sleep apnea. They unclog the airways and allow free movement of air, hence reducing sleep apnea.
7. Try Some Yoga
It sounds outrageous, but you’d be surprised how effective yoga is at treating sleep apnea. Yoga strengthens your respiratory tract, which increases airflow in your throat.
Remember, sleep apnea is a result of your body not receiving enough oxygen during sleep. Yoga can significantly increase your body’s oxygen level. That means it decreases your sleep apnea symptoms.
8. Get a Humidifier
Most households already have dehumidifiers for whatever reasons. Your dehumidifier is also great for remedying your sleep apnea, and here’s how.
Humidifiers decrease congestion in your nasal cavities, which allows for more air into the passages. They also open your airways and allow for clear and uninhibited breathing. You might find it difficult to sleep in a room full of dry air.
Get a humidifier today, and you can get yourself some good night’s sleep. You have the option of adding essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus to make the humidifier more effective.
9. Neurostimulation Therapies
Some people are unable to use positive airway pressure devices for their sleep apnea, or they simply don’t work for them. When everything else doesn’t work, then you may want to consider neurostimulation for your sleep apnea.
There are two types of neurostimulation therapies for sleep apnea, and they are:-
Central Sleep Apnea Neurostimulation
This is a neurostimulation therapy for treating central sleep apnea. It involves the use of implantable systems that stimulate a particular nerve (phrenic nerve) in the chest of the patient. It stimulates the nerve to send signals to the diaphragm to facilitate proper breathing.
Neurostimulation is a very complicated procedure that only a certified cardiologist can perform. It involves placing two small lead wires beneath the skin in your upper chest. One is for sending the signal, while the other monitors your breathing.
This type of neurostimulation is for patients with mild and moderate sleep apnea. Unlike central sleep apnea neurostimulation, this one focuses on the tongue muscles. This therapy sends signals to the tongues muscles that relax the tongue and allow free flow of air.
10. Throat Surgery
The ultimate last resort for treating sleep apnea is surgery for both children and adults. The surgery involves rectifying the site that obstructs air passage and then sowing you up. It’s a complicated surgery, but it’s not life-threatening.
The problem for the surgeon is determining the area that obstructs the passage of air. That’s because there are so many regions that could be hindering the free flow of air. As of yet, there’s no proper testing method to identify the region that needs rectification
Due to the difficulty of finding the obstruction region, surgeries don’t guarantee the eradication of sleep apnea. However, some types of surgeries have success rates of about 50%, which is pretty good.
Do I Have Sleep Apnea If I Snore Too Much?
Excessive snoring doesn’t necessarily mean that you have sleep apnea. However, it could be an early indicator that you may have sleep apnea. So what should you do if you notice your snoring is becoming a bit excessive?
You guessed it, you visit your nearest doctor and tell them about your sleeping problem. Diagnosing sleep apnea early on is way better than diagnosing it at an advanced stage.
A little exercise or yoga can treat sleep apnea at an early stage. If you catch sleep apnea late, you may have to settle for PAPs or even surgery.
If you don’t have sleep apnea, you’re not out of the woods yet. You need to arrange for follow-up check-ups to check for sleep apnea.
You Can Cure Your Sleep Problem With These Sleep Apnea Solutions
Who said sleep apnea is an incurable condition? With so many sleep apnea solutions, having sleep apnea shouldn’t be such a huge cause of alarm.
However, remember your sleep apnea can become much more serious if you ignore it. So make sure you find a doctor to help treat your sleep apnea. While you’re at it, make sure you check out other informative reads on the site.