Millions of people around the world suffer from sleep apnea, which is a medical condition characterized by repeated episodes of stops and starts in breathing as well as excessively loud snores. Thanks to research, we now know more about the ways to treat apnea than in previous years, a blessing that every sufferer must take advantage of.
Of course, treatment will depend on the type of apnea that you have been diagnosed with. There are three types of sleep apnea – obstructive, central sleep and complex. Through screening tests, your doctor should be able to determine into which category you fall into.
One of the foremost ways to treat sleep apnea is through the use of the CPAP machine and its accessories. CPAP means continuous positive airway pressure, which works by keeping the airways open during sleep by delivering controlled air pressure.
You may find it difficult to adjust to the mask or pillow of the CPAP machine as well as the light hissing in the background. With constant practice, however, you should be able to use both the machine and the mask with ease. Check the Internet and ask the manufacturer for recommendations on how to solve the problems associated with the use of machine to treat apnea.
You should also contact your doctor if your loud snoring is still present. You may have to make adjustments on pressure settings, which your doctor can provide assistance.
It should also be noted that CPAP therapy to treat apnea can be adopted in conjunction with other treatments for related medical problems. For example, if you have central sleep apnea, your doctor will prescribe therapy for treatment of your heart or neuromuscular disorders.
You may also be prescribed supplemental oxygen while you sleep. You can choose from many different devices that deliver oxygen to your lungs.
Of course, CPAP therapy is not sufficient to treat mild to moderate sleep apnea. A large part rests on your willingness to adopt lifestyle changes for a healthier body. Indeed, not even the latest in CPAP therapy, the most expensive of medicines and the most expert of doctors will not be able to help you with you sleep apnea problems unless and until you help yourself.
Said self-help will include the following lifestyle changes to treat sleep apnea:
* Eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains and cereals, lean meat and fishes as well as low-fact dairy products. The purpose is to make your body better able to withstand the complications of sleep apnea like the high risks for heart diseases and diabetes.
* Lose your excess weight. You will benefit by way of lesser throat constriction, which will go a long way towards better breathing during sleep.
* Avoid the consumption of stimulants like alcohol, caffeine and nicotine as well as tranquilizers like sleeping pills.
Indeed, the ways to treat sleep apnea are many but CPAP therapy and lifestyle changes are still the best ways to achieve the purpose.
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