How is sleep apnea treated?
What do these treatments do to help?
The answer lies in the question, “What causes sleep apnea?”
When we breathe, the air flows through our nose or mouth, passes our throat to our lungs, and vice versa. Breathing is an involuntary action and will occur whether we are aware of it or not. Although there are slight changes in rate when we sleep because when we enter our inactive state, our body relaxes to save energy; our muscles become less and less tense, even our throat muscles. And because of this, our throats get partially blocked which causes us to have difficulty in breathing and sometimes even have breathing pauses; these pauses are what we call apnea.
So how do you fix it?
Since sleep apnea is when your airways get blocked, the primary purpose of its treatment is to keep your airway open so you can breathe better when you sleep. And various devices can help, take your pick of CPAP machines (considered most effective, but expensive), mouth appliances/mouth guards (what is the best mouthguard for snoring in 2017?), or custom pillows.
Now, let’s discuss these treatments so you could see what you would prefer to use if you’re struggling with sleep apnea.
First on the list is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. With this, you will wear a mask that fits over your nose or mouth, and then the device will blow just the right amount of pressure to keep your airway open when you sleep. Make sure you ask your doctor about the right pressure.
Sounds great right? But just like other treatments for health problems, CPAP has its fair share of side effects like nasal congestion or a runny nose and dry mouth caused by the external air pressure blown into your nose or mouth. Some patients even experience claustrophobia because of the CPAP mask, so the key to the success of using this device is to make sure you’re comfortable when you wear it.
Mouth Devices or Mouthguard
This isn’t as simple as buying a mouth guard like the ones athletes use, mouth guards for sleep apnea treatment (or snoring mouthguards) are different in design and purpose. Athletic mouthguards are designed to fit around the upper teeth to protect it from injury. On the other hand, snoring mouthguards are intended to cause the user’s jaw to remain forward to keep throat airways open.
Snoring mouthguards snap over your top and bottom teeth with hinges that let your lower jaw ease forward. But before you buy one, make sure you consult an expert to find out what’s best for you.
Click here for a review on the best mouthguard in 2017.
One thing that could affect your breathing when you sleep is your position and the position of your pillow. Improving your sleeping posture can also help treat sleep apnea. Research shows that sleeping flat on your back can amplify the occurrence of sleep apnea. But you can’t control your posture when you sleep right? So using pillows made for sleep apnea treatment can help with that.
There are various pillow designs fitted for the type of sleeping position you do, and you can use them with or without a CPAP machine; check them out online to find more.
So these are some of the treatments that can get that, “What are treatments of sleep apnea?” question out of your head. But don’t hesitate to check out the links in this article because they will really help you.