5 At-Home Tips to Prevent Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most dangerous and debilitating sleep disorders around. Far more common than most people are aware, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects around 22 million individuals in the US alone, and studies estimate that this only accounts for around 20% of all cases, as most are simply living undiagnosed. Dr. Marina Pinkhasova, of Affordable Dental, the top sleep apnea specialist Queens has to offer, has treated countless cases over the years. And many of these cases were found in patients who had no idea they were suffering from anything other than just some extra loud snoring. This is a major issue, as the main symptom, snoring, is so common, and many don’t think anything of it. When they are in need of sleep apnea treatment, individuals will simply ignore the other symptoms, as they are also fairly common. These symptoms include things like headaches, daytime sleepiness, overall fatigue, high blood pressure, loss of focus, and waking up periodically during the night. It is important to understand if you are suffering from even just a few of these symptoms simultaneously, and find yourself waking up out of breath periodically, that obstructive sleep apnea is likely the cause.
When you first discover you might be suffering from sleep apnea, it is important to seek the help of a specialist for treatment. Once you have been properly diagnosed, there are a number of different treatment options available, depending upon your specific case. They include things like breathing devices, a sleep apnea night guard, medication, and even surgery. When it comes to sleep apnea treatment, Dr. Pinkhasova is the top sleep apnea specialist Queens has in practice.She prefers the use of an oral sleep apnea night guard, like the SomnoDent Flex. This oral mouthguard opens up the airways by repositioning the jaw slightly – allowing air to flow properly. While these sleep apnea treatment methods are very effective, there is also a number of important lifestyle changes, and things you can do from your own home. As a top sleep apnea specialist Queens dentist Dr. Pinkhasova recommends patients use a combination of both lifestyle changes, and medical treatment – as this will not only help you in the short term but will also help treat the underlying risk factors that can cause sleep apnea to return in the future.
· Try Different Sleep Positions
One interesting fact is that the slightest change to your sleep positioning, can drastically open up your airways, and help curb your sleep apnea issues – similar to a sleep apnea night guard. Often for adults, sleeping on your back can make things a lot worse, blocking the airways and causing increased snoring. Therefore, sleeping on your stomach, or even better, on your side, can help you to improve airflow exponentially. While this is definitely true for the majority of cases, it is important to discuss this with your doctor or specialist, as every case is different.
· Lose Weight
This is an important step to take, not just for sleep apnea treatment but overall health and wellness. As a sleep apnea specialist Queens dentist Dr. Marina Pinkhasova has found that a majority of her sleep apnea patients are either overweight or obese, especially in the upper body. Extra fatty tissue is known to drastically narrow the nasal passages and airways, obstructing your breathing. In many cases, weight loss has been able to completely cure sleep apnea. But at the very least, studies show that dropping a few extra pounds can turn a severe case of OSA into a far more moderate case – eliminating the need for a CPAP machine or surgery.
· Exercises Like Yoga
A solid exercise routine is beneficial to us in many ways, from improved energy levels, to heart health, weight loss, and just overall health and wellness. But exercises like yoga are known to vastly improve your respiratory system and the flow of oxygen to the blood. While it won’t clear the obstruction, this can help you get far more oxygen to your brain and vital organs, curtailing the effects of sleep apnea in the short term. While the added benefits of weight loss and respiratory improvement can help prevent it in the long term.
· Stop Drinking & Smoking
If you are suffering from sleep apnea, and you are a smoker, it is very likely that it is either a cause or a contributing factor. Not only does it limit your oxygen and respiratory abilities, but smoking is known to cause inflammation and swelling in the airways – further obstructing airflow and making snoring worse. Also, overconsumption of alcohol can relax the throat muscles responsible for proper breathing. This can cause you to snore and drastically limit your airflow.
· Increase Humidity
Dry air can have adverse effects on sleep apnea and is known to irritate your respiratory system. Rather than moving to a new climate (if you live in a dry area), using a humidifier in your home and workplace adds moisture to the air, and opens your airways, clearing congestions and helping you to breath better.
While these at-home tips can definitely help reduce and manage your symptoms, medical sleep apnea treatment from a trained sleep apnea specialist is vital to your recovery. For more information or to schedule a sleep apnea consult, contact Dr. Marina Pinkhasova today.