Sleep apnea has become an increasingly common sleep disorder that can affect people of any age, sex, or ethnic origin. While obesity is a commonly known risk factor, sleep apnea can also affect those who maintain a normal weight. When untreated, sleep apnea is known to increase the risk of many serious health conditions, including hypertension, strokes, and heart attacks. If you are concerned about sleep apnea for your own health or that of a loved one, utilizing the following tips can help you proactively manage this condition and be better able to protect your health.
Normalize your body weight
If your weight has crept up in the years before you began to notice sleep apnea symptoms, taking steps to normalize your body weight is an excellent step toward effectively managing the symptoms. According to many recent studies, even a small loss of just ten percent of your body weight may be sufficient to help relieve sleep apnea symptoms.
Change sleeping habits
If you are currently a back sleeper or one who sleeps without a pillow, making the effort to change the way you sleep can be beneficial in relieving sleep apnea symptoms. In most cases, patients who learned to sleep on their right side with a firm pillow to elevate the head and neck were able to enjoy more restful sleep and experience fewer sleep apnea symptoms.
Embrace oral appliances
Several oral appliances are now available to help with sleep apnea symptoms. If your symptoms are mild, you may be able to find some relief by using an oral device designed to help keep your airways open while you are asleep. While many of these are available over the counter, you will want to discuss their use with your doctor before purchasing or beginning to use them.
Commit to using a CPAP
If your sleep apnea symptoms are serious or worsening, it is important to work with your healthcare provider to be fitted with a CPAP or similar machine as soon as possible. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and other types of machines used to help treat sleep apnea work by using pressure and blowers to help ensure that patients continue to breathe in and out at a normal rate while sleeping. While once bulky and difficult to manage, modern CPAP machines are smaller, lighter, and much more comfortable to wear than their predecessors. In fact, patients who travel frequently can even be fitted with compact models made to accommodate their needs.
To learn more about sleep apnea and all of your options for managing the symptoms and maintaining your health, contact services like Advanced Home Care Sleep Apnea Services.
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