Sleep apnea is estimated to affect more than 20 million people in the United States alone. Perhaps you are one of them. Perhaps someone you love has just been diagnosed, or even worse can still be one of the 95% of cases that are diagnosed every year. Below are some of the treatments and remedies we have found. We hope you find them useful.
If you are lucky enough to have a sleep apnea, there are some steps you can take to relieve your symptoms and maybe eliminate them all together.
Stop using something that relaxes your muscles in your throat before you go down - this includes alcohol, tranquilizers or tobacco. If you have to drink try to finish 3-4 hours before bed.
Lose Weight - Studies have shown that losing only 10% of your current body weight can improve your sleep quality and reduce sleep apnea.
Keeping regular sleep hours - Walking on an even time helps you compare your body's natural sleep cycle and encourages restful sleep.
Raise your head on your bed a few inches - Raising your bed only 4-6 inches can make a difference in sleep quality that you can get every night.
Open your nasal passages with respiratory, nasal spray or nasal dilator.
If the above-mentioned drug does not get the results you want, please consider seeking medical attention with a sleep specialist or a dentist specializing in dental sleep medicine. Once diagnosed well, the most common treatments are as follows:
Lower jaw adjustment devices, dental products and oral appliances - Lower jaw devices fit around the head and correct the jaw position which increases airflow while you sleep. Dental appliances are like a mouth guard and work in a similar manner.
While the oral devices are less difficult than other methods, they must be carefully followed by your dentist to ensure that no harm or excessive soreness occurs in the mouth.
CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) - CPAP is the most commonly prescribed treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. It consists of a worm connected to a device that keeps a positive flow of pressure in your airway to keep your soft tissue from collapsing. Previously, many users complained that the devices were uncomfortable or difficult to use. The latest models have improved considerably and provide increased comfort in a smaller size.
Surgery - Although considered to be a last resort for some, surgery is a viable solution that increases airways. The potential benefits should be weighed against the risk of infection, complications or potentially impaired problem. This treatment should not be taken easily and should be discussed with your medical provider.
For those who find these options unattractive, there are some alternative therapies found. Please take these with salt grains.
Playing Didgeridoo - A study from the British Medical Journal in 2005 found that didgeridoo learning and practice helped reduce snoring and sleep apnea, as well as sleepiness during daytime. This seems to work by strengthening the muscles of the upper respiratory tract, which reduces their tendency to collapse during sleep.
Herbal Cures - Herbalist Steve Frank currently promotes an herbal remedy called Sleep Apnea Relief