Lifestyle Changes And CPAP Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Posted on: 14 February 2022

Sleep apnea refers to breathing cessation episodes that occur during sleep. It can affect individuals of all ages, however, it is most common in older people who have risk factors such as obesity, having large tonsils, a family history of sleep apnea, and hypothyroidism. Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring, waking up suddenly because of choking or gasping, night sweats, headaches, and daytime sleepiness. Sleep apnea can increase the risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. If you have any of the aforementioned symptoms of sleep apnea, the following sleep apnea treatment options may prove beneficial.

Lifestyle Changes

Certain lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your sleep apnea episodes. These lifestyle changes include losing weight if you are obese, not smoking, and avoiding spicy foods before going to sleep. Eating spicy foods before bedtime can trigger acid reflux, and when this happens, irritating gastric acid can reach your throat, causing inflammation of your pharynx and tonsils, causing airway obstruction.

Avoiding alcoholic beverages and certain medications such as antihistamines before going to sleep may also help reduce your sleep apnea symptoms. Both alcohol and antihistamines can relax the muscles of the back of your tongue, and when this happens, the back of your tongue may slip into your throat, further obstructing your airway and exacerbating your sleep apnea symptoms.

CPAP Treatment

CPAP treatment refers to the use of a CPAP machine. CPAP therapy refers to continuous positive airway pressure therapy that uses a special machine to promote an effective pattern of breathing when you sleep to help decrease episodes of sleep apnea.

CPAP therapy helps keep your airway open by increasing pharyngeal air pressure in the back of your throat. Many CPAP machines deliver air to the throat via a plastic mask that is worn over the nose and mouth.

Other CPAP machines use a mask that only covers the nose, while still others work to deliver air via nasal prongs that are inserted into the nostrils, in the same way that oxygen is delivered to patients. Continuous positive airway pressure will help ensure that you enjoy restorative sleep so that you will be less likely to experience daytime fatigue and sleepiness. 

If you have sleep apnea, make an appointment with your primary care physician as soon as possible. After a comprehensive physical examination, they may refer you to a sleep apnea treatment clinic for further evaluation and appropriate sleep apnea treatment.

For more information on sleep apnea treatment, contact a professional near you.