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Treatment of Sleep Apnea


Sleep on your side.
o Try this: Sew a pocket in the middle of the back of your pajama
top, put a tennis ball into the pocket, and stitch it shut. This will
help keep you from sleeping on your back. Sleeping on your side
may eliminate mild sleep apnea.
Avoid the use of alcohol and some medicines, especially sleeping pills
and sedatives, before bed.
Quit smoking.
o The nicotine in tobacco relaxes the muscles that keep the airways
open. If you don't smoke, those muscles are less likely to
collapse at night and narrow the airways.
Raise the head of your bed 4 in. (10 cm) to 6 in. (15 cm)
o Put bricks under the legs of the bed.
o You can also use a special pillow (called a cervical pillow) when
you sleep. A cervical pillow can help your head stay in a position
that reduces sleep apnea.
o Using regular pillows to raise your head and upper body will not
work.
Promptly treat breathing problems, such as a stuffy nose caused by a
cold or allergies.
Some people use nasal strips, which widen the nostrils and improve
airflow. Although these strips may decrease snoring, they cannot treat
sleep apnea.
First medical treatment
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is nearly always the first medical
treatment for sleep apnea.
With CPAP, you use a breathing device that prevents your airways from
closing during sleep.
CPAP is the preferred treatment for moderate or severe sleep apnea.
Treatment of Sleep Apnea Page 13 of 49
 
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