3 Ways Your Doctor Might Treat Your Sleep Apnea

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After you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it can be scary to listen to the trail of complications that this common sleep disorder can cause. In addition to daytime grogginess and loud snoring, you might also be worried when you hear that sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, liver problems, and even depression. Fortunately, you might be able to find relief from all of these symptoms by working with your doctor. Here are three ways that he or she might treat your sleep apnea, so that you can get on the road to recovery.

1: Weight Loss

Believe it or not, your weight can play a big role in the quality of your sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissues at the back of your throat relax too much, cutting off your air supply as you sleep. People who have obstructive sleep apnea might stop breathing for as long as 10 seconds at a time all throughout the night, severely limiting the oxygen that their organs desperately need.

Unfortunately, about 70% of the people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are overweight. Heavy tissue around your neck and lungs can inhibit your ability to breathe, which can aggravate or even cause sleep disorders. In fact, your chances for developing sleep apnea increase 14% for each point your BMI increases, and if you gain 10% of your body weight, you are 6 times more likely to develop the condition.

If you have sleep apnea and you are overweight, your doctor might encourage you to drop a few pounds to treat your condition. One study, which followed 264 sleep apnea sufferers, found that the people who exercised 175 minutes a week and who followed a strict diet lost an average of 24 pounds after a year, and were three times more likely to have a remission of sleep apnea symptoms. It might sound like a challenge to lose weight, but your doctor can develop a diet and exercise regimen especially for you so that you can start sleeping better at night. 

2: Dental Appliances

If you are already at a healthy weight, you might be wondering what other ways your doctor could treat your condition. Before you get nervous about sleep apnea related surgeries or taking a hardcore nasal decongestant every night before bed, you should realize that your mild version of sleep apnea might be successfully treated with the help of a dental appliance.

It might sound crazy, but doctors and dentists have developed dental appliances that help to keep your throat tissues from collapsing while you sleep. These special oral devices are custom-fit to your mouth, and work by holding your jaw in a forward position. In addition to keeping your throat muscles from relaxing, they also keep your tongue in place so that it doesn't fall into the back of your throat.

Oral Sleep Apnea appliances are worn the same way that traditional sports mouth guards are worn, providing you with a comfortable and non-invasive way to treat your condition. Appliances are also easy to remove and simple to travel with, so that you can sleep well while you are on business trips or vacations.

3: CPAP Treatment

If weight loss and dental appliances aren't enough to curb your symptoms, doctors might recommend sleeping with the help of a CPAP machine. CPAP stands for continuous positive airway pressure, and these machines work by delivering a steady flow of air through a mask that you wear as you sleep to keep your airway open.

CPAP treatment is considered the most effective nonsurgical treatment for sleep apnea and has been found to reduce daytime fatigue and blood pressure. Patients who use CPAP machines generally finish their nighttime routine, put on their masks, and fall into a deep slumber. Although it might seem uncomfortable to wear a mask at first, you and your family will get used to the system in no time. Also, you might be able to enjoy your day-to-day activities more when you are finally able to get some rest. You can find affordable cpap machines from suppliers, such as http://www.cornermedical.com.

By working with a doctor to diagnose and treat your sleep apnea, you can sleep a lot better at night so that you can worry about other things.