Sleep apnea is a medical condition that results in your breathing stopping and starting repeatedly as you sleep. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious complications and potentially put your life at risk. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, here are some changes you can make at home to improve your condition.
One of the most important steps you can take if you suffer from sleep apnea is to lose weight. By losing weight, you can help reduce constriction in your throat and keep it open so that your breathing is more regular.
Your doctor can help you determine what is a healthy weight for your body type. It is important to note that even a slight gain in weight can have an impact on your condition, so try to maintain a healthy weight.
Alcohol and sleeping pills can help you relax, but it can also cause the muscle tone in the back of the throat to relax. When this occurs, air flow can be severely reduced. Instead of the sleeping pills or alcohol helping you to relax, they can aggravate your sleep apnea symptoms.
If you are having trouble sleeping and rely on pills to help, talk to your doctor about alternative methods of conquering sleep problems. For instance, your doctor could recommend that you develop a nighttime ritual that can help signal to your body that it is time to go to sleep.
Use a Saline Nasal Spray
Saline nasal spray can be instrumental in keeping your nasal passages moist so that air flow is not restricted. You can also try over-the-counter nasal strips that are used to encourage an open airway.
If you are planning to use a decongestant or antihistamine to help with nasal problems you are experiencing that are interfering with your breathing, talk to your doctor first. These medications should never be used on a long-term basis because they can actually lead to an increase in congestion, which works against your attempt to open your airways.
Avoid Sleeping on Your Back
As an added precaution, avoid sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your back can cause airways to collapse, which can result in a more difficult time of sleeping. Try to sleep on your side or abdomen.
Talk to your doctor about what does and does not work for you. It is important that you work with him or her to fully explore what methods are available to use to treat your symptoms. Dentists can also help, which is why you should contact a practice, such as Sunshine Dentistry, for more information about sleep apnea treatments.