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Three Easy Ways To Treat Sleep Apnea

8/28/2015

sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is easily one of the most frustrating chronic sleep disorders, often because those who suffer from the disease aren't aware that they have it at all -- until it starts causing serious health problems that disrupt daily life.

If you think that you might suffer from sleep apnea, you've probably noticed a few changes in your overall health: feeling exhausted all of the time and being able to fall asleep at any given moment; waking up with headaches; being unable to concentrate during the day or feeling extra stressed out; and having a sudden spike in blood pressure, cholesterol, or weight gain.

The important thing now is that you're seeking treatment -- and luckily, since sleep apnea affects so many people (about 18 million Americans, in fact), medical experts have developed a few different ways that patients can approach the problem:

  1. For very mild cases, and for anyone who doesn't move around much when they're asleep, a few simple at-home remedies can work wonders. Because sleep apnea occurs when your air passages are slightly blocked, you can open up your nasal airways by sleeping on your side, by propping your head up with an extra pillow (or even special nasal pillows), or by using nasal sprays or breathing strips at night.

  2. Dental appliances may also be used for treating sleep apnea, and look very much like sports mouth guards or night guards that prevent teeth grinding. These devices need to be custom-fitted to your mouth by an experienced dental specialist, and they work by re-positioning your lower jaw so that your airways stay open. Again, like the other simple treatment options, dental appliances will usually only be effective for mild cases of sleep apnea.

  3. Finally, one of the best and most effective treatment options for sleep apnea is something called a CPAP machine, which stands for "Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure." CPAP machines, also often called CPAP masks, look very similar to normal oxygen masks. By providing a constant stream of air to the breathing passages, these machines ensure that your breathing doesn't pause for long periods of time, allowing your body to stay asleep throughout the night. These machines are constantly being re-developed for comfort and effectiveness, and there are a few different options to choose from, so talking to a sleep specialist about trying a CPAP machine is definitely worth your while!

Ultimately, if you think that you suffer from sleep apnea, the risks of letting the disorder go untreated are simply too great -- untreated sufferers are three times as likely to develop heart disease and four times as likely to have a stroke, for just a few examples. Your body does a lot for you during the day -- doesn't it deserve to have a good night's sleep?