Although millions of people have sleep apnea, few people get it tested because they believe that snoring constantly is normal. The most prevalent kind of undiagnosed sleep apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. By temporarily obstructing your airway and causing you to snort while you sleep, OSA is caused by soft tissues in your throat and jaw moving backward.
In addition to snoring, untreated OSA may cause additional problems. Over time, many patients begin to experience additional symptoms such recurrent headaches, brain fog, insomnia, and daytime drowsiness. They could even start performing badly on routine chores and at work.
First things first If you often snore or believe you may have OSA, discuss this with your dentist or physician for a test. If sleep apnea is suspected, a professional will be contacted to make a diagnosis. In order to assist you cope with the symptoms of sleep apnea while you await a diagnosis, here are some useful recommendations. You may continue to use these recommendations in addition to CPAP or other OSA therapies!
1. Consider different sleeping postures.
Sleeping on your back is a substantial contributor to snoring, even in mild cases of OSA. To determine which sleeping position is most comfortable, try out several pillows. If you often sleep on your back, switching to your side may significantly lessen snoring. Additionally, try sleeping with your head slightly elevated.
2. Maintain a healthy weight.
Controlling OSA symptoms depends heavily on maintaining a healthy weight. If you are overweight, a wise first step is to lose weight via exercise and a healthy diet. But be kind to yourself and be aware of your body. Untreated OSA often causes extreme fatigue and may make exercise challenging.
If exercising is difficult for you, focus first on other OSA treatment options. As your health improves, begin boosting your regular exercise.
3. Add a humidifier to the space.
A dry environment may have adverse side effects such dry mouth, uncomfortable breathing, and congestion in addition to escalating the symptoms of OSA. The humidity will rise all night if a humidifier is positioned next to your bed. You’ll experience increased breathing comfort and clarity, both of which help to minimize snoring.
4. Give up smoking and consuming alcohol.
The use of tobacco products, vaping, and excessive alcohol consumption not only harms your overall health but also exacerbates OSA and other types of sleep apnea. If you regularly use alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or do both, think about quitting. Your doctor can help you find alternatives to cease these behaviors in a beneficial, healthy manner.
5. Avoid using over-the-counter tranquilizers.
Patients with OSA often have issues with their sleep medicines. Because OSA may make it difficult to get asleep and stay asleep, many patients utilize over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids or supplements. But over-the-counter sleeping medications and even natural sleep aids like melatonin weren’t developed with sleep apnea in mind, and over time, they could exacerbate your OSA symptoms.
If you just can’t go asleep without some kind of medicine, talk to your doctor to come up with a safe solution.
6. Consult your doctor about any allergies you may have.
Without the sufferer’s knowledge, OSA and allergies may coexist. If you experience chronic snoring along with congestion, a stuffy nose, itchy eyes, or other classic allergy symptoms, your body may be reacting to an environmental allergen. Your doctor could help you locate an over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medication to aid with your symptoms and make managing your OSA symptoms easier.
7. Use an app to monitor the quality of your sleep.
If you have access to the app store on your phone, there are a variety of different sleep-tracking tools available. You may use them to monitor your sleep quality digitally after receiving a sleep apnea diagnosis or to help your dentist or doctor do a sleep apnea test. Additionally, many contemporary CPAP equipment now come with accompanying apps that show your sleep data. There are even programs designed specifically for people with OSA.
8. Regularly do throat exercises.
The muscles in the throat may become stronger with exercises for the lungs and throat. Deep breathing exercises are calming and may improve your breathing, especially when done before bed. Exercises for the throat and even frequent singing may increase lung capacity and muscle strength. You now have a great excuse to sing loudly in the car or in the shower!
9. Eat a balanced diet with a focus on whole foods.
Eating a balanced, nutritious diet has several advantages, one of which is maintaining a healthy weight. The nutrition your body utilizes to function has a big impact on how you feel and how well you sleep. While sometimes indulging in sweets is OK, try to focus your main meals and snacks on healthful, less processed foods. Eating whole, natural foods may help you effortlessly meet your daily vitamin and mineral needs.
10. Consult your dentist about oral appliances.
In addition to your doctor, there are other healthcare specialists that can help you with your OSA. Your dentist also plays a significant role. In order to help patients manage their symptoms, a dentist may do OSA tests, suggest that they be diagnosed, and possibly provide OSA therapy. Many people utilize these oral appliances at night. The most often used appliance is a mandibular advancement device, which gently moves the jaw to prevent soft tissues in the neck from slipping back into the airway.
Sleep disruptions may be quite significant since they may result in health issues. Most individuals who have different types of sleep issues aren’t aware of them until they become worse. It could affect physiological immunological and psychological health systems. You may gasp for breath as you sleep and suddenly awaken if you have a condition called sleep apnea. Those who suffer sleep apnea deal with symptoms including breathlessness and others that are associated. Due to the disease’s ability to sound like snoring, patients may not be aware that they have stopped breathing, which could be fatal.