Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder. In fact, it’s thought to affect up to 7% of men and 5% of women in the United States. When you have sleep apnea, your breathing stops and starts again many times throughout the night. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to potentially serious problems, including high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. Luckily, there are several treatments that can control sleep apnea, protect your health, and improve difficult symptoms, like daytime sleepiness.
Here are 6 treatments that are effective for sleep apnea:
Sometimes lifestyle changes can be enough to relieve sleep apnea symptoms. Your doctor might recommend weight loss, exercise, limiting alcohol, and quitting smoking. Your physician might also suggest that you sleep on your side, as opposed to your back. Sleeping on your back can make sleep apnea worse.
When sleep apnea can’t be controlled by lifestyle changes alone, then your doctor will recommend a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, is worn on your face at night. The air pressure the machine delivers keeps your airway from collapsing when you’re asleep. This helps to prevent sleep apnea episodes.
When you first start using a CPAP machine, you might find the device to be uncomfortable. This is a normal and common reaction. However, your doctor can help you find ways to make the CPAP machine more comfortable.
A BiPAP machine is similar to a CPAP machine, but it offers a higher level of pressure when you inhale than when you exhale. A CPAP offers only one continuous pressure. Your doctor will let you know which machine would be best for your sleep apnea.
There are mouthpieces available to help treat sleep apnea. If your sleep apnea is mild, you might be able to try an oral device before using the CPAP machine or another airway device. A dentist can recommend the right mouthpieces for sleep apnea.
If you have another condition alongside your sleep apnea, especially a respiratory condition, you might need oxygen at night along with your CPAP machine. You might also need oxygen if you have a certain kind of sleep apnea, known as central sleep apnea.
Surgeries and Other Medical Interventions
There are certain mouth exercises that you can do to strengthen the parts of the throat and mouth that tend to be involved in obstructive sleep apnea. There are also some medical conditions that can cause sleep apnea. Once the medical condition is treated, the sleep apnea might go away. Treating allergies, for instance, can often make a difference for sleep apnea.
In some instances, especially if other treatments aren’t working, your doctor might recommend surgery to help manage your sleep apnea.
Where to Find Supplies for Sleep Apnea
ATC Medical offers CPAP and BiPAP supplies for sleep apnea, as well as accessories. We even have a variety of CPAP pillows for optimal comfort. We also have oxygen supplies. Contact us today for more information on our medical products.