Sleep apnea is a chronic medical condition in which airway obstruction occurs during sleep, preventing your body from adequate oxygen to stay healthy. The condition can happen continuously or intermittently throughout the night and significantly disrupts your quality of life and work performance.
It would help if you did many things before bed, including avoiding consuming substances with caffeine like coffee. It will help you get a goodnight’s sleep.
Clinical symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Drowsiness or fatigue when waking up in the morning
- Excessive daytime sleepiness, even when you have slept enough
- Snoring, choking, or regurgitating during sleep
- Ringing in your ears while breathing while asleep
There are various treatment options for sleep apnea. These include lifestyle changes, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy, oral appliances, surgery, bi-level positive airway pressure machine, upper airway stimulations, and weight loss.
Your doctor may advise you to lose weight by altering your diet and exercising regarding lifestyle changes. It may also be necessary to work on your comfort while sleeping by getting a reliable sleep provider. Since sleep apnea is a chronic condition, changes to your lifestyle may not always be enough to alleviate your symptoms. There are instances where lifestyle changes will not alleviate the underlying factors that cause the problem. Regardless, it would help if you observed the following:
- Increase physical activity
- Change your diet
- Cut down or avoid smoking and alcohol
- Change your sleeping positions or sleeping environment
To alleviate your symptoms with CPAP therapy, you will need to wear a machine mask connected to a ventilator. The device is intended to help you breathe in the daytime so that you won’t be snoring loudly at night. As for usage, the mask should cover your nose and mouth every time you sleep. If this is impossible, the machine will automatically do it for you. The device will be used in a sleep laboratory and must be available for 24 hours.
Oral appliance therapy works similarly to CPAP therapy, except that you will use it at home. The device is adjusted correctly to be worn in the comfort of your home. It would help if you placed the mouthpiece on your teeth and put the straps around your palate and jawbone to use it. As for usage, it should be used in conjunction with CPAP therapy and will not fully alleviate your symptoms.
To help alleviate your symptoms with upper airway stimulation, you may need surgery. During the operation, a stent will be placed in your nose so that you may breathe better at night. The device is like CPAP, except that it can deliver more pressure to the back of your throat to help improve your symptoms more efficiently.
The bi-level positive airway pressure machine is a wearable device that will help you overcome your condition. The device is a combination of a CPAP and inhaler and is plugged into a computer. It can be used in multiple ways, such as providing relief to the symptoms of sleep apnea while being connected to the internet. It is done to adjust in response to your breathing automatically.
To deal with the underlying causes of sleep apnea, you should consider losing weight and improving your diet. Improving your diet may not be enough, but combined with lifestyle changes and other treatment options, it can play a significant role in mitigating the condition. In addition, there are various treatment options that you can use to lose weight, such as a nasal spray or an appetite suppressant drug.
Upper airway stimulations will involve using healthcare professionals to manually open your airway via the throat so that you may breathe more freely. The procedure is minimally invasive and is available if you have not been able to fix your sleep apnea through CPAP therapy or oral appliance therapy.
Sleep apnea surgery involves removing a portion of your tonsils, adenoids, or palate to improve air movement through your throat. The surgery usually lasts six to eight hours. If the surgery is done, you may have to avoid using CPAP therapy for days after surgery.
Sleep apnea is a condition that can significantly affect your quality of life and your work performance. If you have been trying to get rid of symptoms with lifestyle changes and other treatment options and are still unable to, you should consider seeking assistance from a doctor.