How to Manage Your Sleep Apnea Diagnosis

Sleep apnea leads to interruptions in a person's breathing during sleep. These disruptions are caused by the person not taking in enough oxygen. This leads to the body forcing them to wake up and gasp for air, disrupting their sleep.

In many cases, patients are not even aware of these stoppages to their breathing. As far as they are concerned, they sleep normally each night. The symptoms are what usually lead to them being diagnosed with the condition.

Effects of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea can lead to a multitude of health issues besides not feeling fully rested in the morning. It can:

  • Inhibit the person's immune system
  • Lead to memory loss
  • Lead to mental health issues like depression
  • Increases a person's risk of heart failure

The standard treatments for sleep apnea include the use of oral appliances, breathing devices, medication and, in rare cases, surgery. That is not all patients can do to combat sleep apnea though. They can also make some simple lifestyle changes that will increase the quality of sleep they get. These include:

1. Maintain lower weight

Doctors often advise those battling sleep apnea to lose weight. Excess fat increases the risk of developing obstructions in the airways and nasal passages. These obstructions hinder the person's ability to get quality sleep.

Staying at a healthy weight helps to clear the airways, and it reduces the symptoms of sleep apnea. Research indicates that those who lose even a moderate amount of weight can often get past the need for a breathing device or surgery.

For some patients, losing weight is all they need to eliminate sleep apnea. It should be noted that the condition will likely return if the person regains the weight.

2. Try yoga

Exercise, in general, helps to improve sleep apnea, but yoga specifically encourages oxygen flow and improves respiratory strength. Sleep apnea is caused by a lower oxygen saturation in the blood, so yoga helps to minimize the number of interruptions a patient experiences each night.

3. Sleep on your side

About half of sleep apnea cases are caused by the person's sleeping position. Sleeping on the back tends to worsen symptoms while sleeping on the sides helps to open up the airways. That does not apply to children since they sometimes exhibit fewer sleep apnea symptoms when they sleep on their backs.

4. Get a humidifier

Dry air can irritate the respiratory system, worsening the symptoms of sleep apnea. Patients should consider using a humidifier since it helps to decrease congestion and opens up the airways. Oils like peppermint can be added to the humidifier to increase the benefits.

5. Avoid drinking or smoking

Both are equally bad for people with sleep apnea, as they worsen the symptoms. Quitting noticeably reduces the symptoms.

Get sleep apnea treatment

Sleep apnea is not some minor health issue you can ignore. It leads to more serious health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. Stop by our Sandy clinic for diagnosis and treatment today.

Request an appointment here: https://www.taylordentalsmiles.com or call Taylor Dental Care at (801) 252-4440 for an appointment in our Sandy office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

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