How to Manage Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the soft palate, tongue, or tonsils obstruct the airway during sleep and prevent you from breathing properly. The obstruction restricts the airway to such a degree that your brain does not get the oxygen it needs. This forces you into a cycle of waking up, often gasping for air, then returning to sleep. Not only is your brain deprived of oxygen, but your body is deprived of a good night’s sleep. This results in real health complications, like high blood pressure, as well as quality of life issues. Many people who suffer with obstructive sleep apnea have a hard time staying awake during the day and have difficulty concentrating.
Lifestyle Changes Can Improve Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Your lifestyle may be impacting your obstructive sleep apnea and your ability to keep it under control.
Consume less alcohol. If you have a few drinks every night before bed, you are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Cutting back on how much you drink or stopping altogether can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
Exercise and eat right. Maintaining a healthy weight can also have a positive impact on your sleep apnea symptoms. Recent studies have demonstrated that losing weight can reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea and in some cases, cure the problem. Simply improving your diet and exercising for 30 minutes can help you stay fit and minimize the sleep apnea.
Better sleep habits. Sleeping on your back can aggravate obstructive sleep apnea, and so can other bad habits like late night screen time. Adjusting your sleep time routine, incorporating natural light and ambient sounds, and sleeping on your side can all improve obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Diagnosis and Treatment
If you believe you have obstructive sleep apnea and lifestyle changes are not making a difference, you may need to seek treatment. In addition to CPAP masks, there are a number of other treatments including dental devices and surgery.
If you believe you may be suffering from sleep apnea or UARS, it is important to see a doctor who specializes in sleep medicine in order to properly diagnose and treat your condition. Dr. Malhotra is a board-certified sleep specialist in CT, who is known for diagnosing and treating all kinds of sleep disorders. Call (203) 422-7940 today, or schedule an appointment using this form.