Sleep apnea is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on your health and quality of life. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available that can help you manage your symptoms and improve your sleep. Lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding alcohol and sedative medications, can help reduce the severity of sleep apnea. A humidifier in the bedroom may also be beneficial for some people.
For more severe cases, CPAP therapy is the most clinically supported treatment method. Other solutions include dental appliances for mild sleep apnea and surgery, although the latter is generally recommended only in the most extreme cases. Additionally, research has shown that exercise can reduce interrupted respiratory episodes during sleep and associated sleepiness.
Lifestyle ChangesIf you are overweight, losing weight can be an effective way to reduce the severity of sleep apnea.
Exercise can also help improve your symptoms, as well as reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea. It is important to avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime and to stop smoking if you are a smoker. Taking a nasal decongestant or allergy medication may also help reduce symptoms. Additionally, it is important to avoid taking sedative medications such as anxiolytics or sleeping pills, as these can make sleep apnea worse.
HumidifierA study found that a humidifier is the best way to protect against CPAP failure. A humidifier in the bedroom may also be beneficial for some people with mild sleep apnea, as it can reduce the dryness they experience when breathing at night.
CPAP TherapyThe most common and effective medical treatment for sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device. This device helps keep your airways open while you sleep by providing a steady stream of air through a mask that you wear while sleeping.
If other treatments have failed and you have severe sleep apnea, CPAP therapy is the best option for improving your symptoms and living a healthy life.
Dental AppliancesDental appliances are another option for treating mild sleep apnea. These devices fit in your mouth like a mouthguard and help keep your airways open while you sleep.
SurgeryIn some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat obstructive sleep apnea or central sleep apnea.
Surgery is generally recommended only in the most extreme cases when other treatments have failed or if you have a medical condition that causes your throat to narrow too much.
Self-CareSelf-care may also be an option for treating mild sleep apnea. Following standard recommendations for good sleep (in addition to clinical treatments, such as CPAP or dental braces, if needed) may not offer a cure for sleep apnea, but it will likely help you sleep healthily. Additionally, Molly Cooke, president of the American College of Physicians, explained to NPR that losing weight can eliminate fat that blocks the respiratory tract, causing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that requires treatment to improve symptoms and quality of life. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight and exercising regularly can help reduce the severity of symptoms. For more severe cases, CPAP therapy is the most clinically supported treatment method and provides the best chance of living a healthy life. Other solutions include dental appliances for mild sleep apnea and surgery, although the latter is generally recommended only in the most extreme cases.