Treatment of Sleep Apnea by Dalyn Baker - HTML preview
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The first treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) consists of making lifestyle changes. Your sleep apnea may be helped if you:
Lose weight (if needed).
o Small studies have shown that losing weight decreases the number of times an hour that you stop breathing (apnea) or that a reduced amount of air enters your lungs (hypopnea). Experts agree that weight loss should be part of managing sleep apnea.
Wake up at the same time every morning.
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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.
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.