The Three Best Ways To Reduce The Risks Of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a serious health condition that shouldn't be underestimated. While it's easy to consider it to just be heavy snoring, it's an obstructive condition that can make it impossible for you to breathe in your sleep. This can not only cause your sleep quality to plummet, making you more tired and liable to develop illnesses, but it can also lead to tissue damage in the brain and heart. The first step to treating this condition is being diagnosed with it, but thankfully, there are several steps and methods that can be used to help minimize the risks.
The first way to reduce the risks that sleep apnea carries is to try and lose weight. For most people, excess weight either causes or worsens sleep apnea.
This is because sleep apnea usually happens due to a blockage developing in the throat when your muscles relax during sleep. This can cause your airway to become smaller, but when you're carrying extra weight in your throat and neck, it can further press on the windpipe and make matters even worse. If you lose some weight, your symptoms are likely to be less severe, and you'll start to feel better as a result.
While weight loss can certainly help, losing weight isn't something that can happen overnight, so you need to choose a treatment method, too. Your doctor will likely recommend one, but there are a few potential options to choose from. One of the most common is the CPAP machine.
CPAP machines look a little like breathing equipment at a hospital or doctor's office. It's designed to forcibly push air through the windpipe while you sleep, keeping it propped open so that you can breathe readily and without struggle.
CPAP machines are great, but they can let you down if you're in a power outage or away from civilization. In these cases, a dental appliance may work better for you. Sleep apnea dental appliances help to prevent symptoms by gently tugging your lower jaw forward while you sleep. This keeps the airway open and helps you to breathe without the need for noisy equipment like a CPAP. Some people end up having both a CPAP and dental appliance so that they can be ready for any situation, so make sure to ask your doctor about it, especially if you've experienced frequent power outages in your region or travel frequently.
For more information on sleep apnea treatment, contact a professional near you.