Your Guide To Sleep Apnea Treatment

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Sleep apnea is a potentially serious medical condition in which you periodically stop breathing while you sleep. If you've been diagnosed with this condition, there are several treatment options you can try. Learn about these options and discuss them with your doctor. Here is your guide to sleep apnea treatment:

Lifestyle Changes

The first treatment options you may want to try are simple lifestyle changes. If your sleep apnea is mild, lifestyle changes alone may be enough to treat your condition. Here are lifestyle changes that may help:

  • Losing weight if you are overweight or obese
  • Stop smoking
  • Exercise. Start light, with walking, and move up to strenuous activity.
  • Avoid alcohol and medication that makes you drowsy before bed.
  • Avoid sleeping on your back. Sleep on your belly or side.

CPAP

The next line of treatment your doctor may try is a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure. A CPAP machine helps your sleep apnea by creating a positive flow of air through your nasal and sinus passages, which keeps them open. Your doctor may recommend that you use your machine every night, which takes getting used to. Here are some tips for getting used to your CPAP machine:

  • Use a humidifier to keep your mouth from drying out while you sleep.
  • Use the "ramp" feature for the first few weeks. This prevents the machine from turning all the way on until you fall asleep.
  • Wear your mask during the day while you're awake to desensitize yourself to it so you can fall asleep easier at night.

Oral appliance

Another treatment option that can help your sleep apnea is an oral appliance. An oral appliance fits inside or over your mouth to open your airway so you can breathe. An oral appliance may be a mouth guard, or it can be a strap that goes over your chin. These devices pull your jaw forward to prevent tissues in your mouth or throat from obstructing your breathing.

Surgery

Sleep apnea surgery is a treatment option that is used when other treatments don't help. The surgery that your doctor performs depends on the cause of your sleep apnea. If your apnea is caused by enlarged tonsils, a tonsillectomy will be performed. The most common surgery performed on sleep apnea sufferers is called uvulopalatopharyngoplasty. In this surgery, excess tissue from the throat is removed so it doesn't obstruct the airway during sleep.

These are treatment options that are available to you if you suffer from sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor for more information.

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13 June 2016

Meeting With The ENT Specialist

When I started noticing issues with my balance, I realized that I needed some professional help. I was having a difficult time staying upright, much less working or getting any exercise. Instead of panicking, I simply made an appointment with my family practitioner, who in turn made an appointment for me with an ENT specialist. It was amazing to see how much he was able to help. He inspected my ears and determined that I was having some fluid buildup inside of my inner ear. This blog is all about meeting with an ENT specialist and getting the help that you need to feel like yourself again.