Continuous positive airway pressure devices are seemingly the most popular treatment options recommended for people with sleep apnea syndrome. However, if severe central sleep apnea is diagnosed, it is more .likely that sleep specialists will advise you to go for surgery.
Meanwhile, treatment options like continuous positive airway pressure CPAP, Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP), oral appliances, and surgery are mostly recommended for sleep apnea patients suffering from severe sleep disorder symptoms. However, simple self-care therapy will be effective when the situation is still mild.
Sleep apnea symptoms may include loud snoring, waking up at intervals, coughing, choking and gasping when sleeping, daytime sleepiness, restless sleep, and the like. If your symptoms of sleep apnea have not gone beyond all that, you are still with sleep apnea.
Of course, you must visit a sleep laboratory for a detailed sleep study or invite a sleep specialist to conduct home sleep apnea testing for a proper diagnosis. However, you are safe if your doctor confirms mild obstructive sleep apnea.
Mild sleep apnea can cause you to snore loudly or stop breathing when sleeping. Moderate sleep apnea can also cause a decrease in your oxygen levels, causing you to gasp and cough when sleeping.
The Essence of self-care treatment for sleep apnea patients
self-care treatment is the best way to treat sleep apnea before it becomes a condition preventing you from falling asleep. The symptoms of sleep apnea can get worse if you have not mastered how to maintain a healthy lifestyle that can help you keep enjoying your normal sleep.
Mild sleep apnea can cause several health complications, including daytime fatigue. However, untreated sleep apnea comes with increased risk factors, including high blood pressure, mental health issues, poor immune function, breakdown of throat muscles, weight loss, memory loss, risk of heart failure, reduced blood pressure, inadequate blood oxygen levels, and more.
To prevent sleep apnea from getting to a severe level, here are some lifestyle changes and self-care treatments that can help improve the quality of your sleep and prevent other sleep disorders.
Lifestyle Remedies for mild sleep apnea patients
Continuous positive airway pressure is among the traditional treatment for moderate sleep apnea. Though the method is effective for even severe obstructive sleep apnea, you may find it uncomfortable.
The below home remedies can offer the same benefits.
1. Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity can be a problem for people suffering from moderate obstructive sleep apnea. For that reason, doctors recommend that sleep apnea patients should lose weight. Obesity can increase the risk of throat obstruction, especially for people with a narrowed airway. These obstructions can cause patients to stop breathing suddenly when sleeping.
Weight loss can keep your airways free and reduce sleep apnea symptoms. as a matter of fact; research shows that weight loss can prevent sleep apnea or eliminate the need for upper airway surgery for patients.
In some cases, losing weight can eliminate mild sleep apnea. However, if you add weight, the sleep disorder may return.
2. Try yoga
Of course, it takes discipline to do yoga consistently. But, with the help of your bed partner, you can have a good run sufficient to cure your obstructive sleep apnea symptoms. In addition, yoga and other exercises can strengthen your heart, increase your energy level, save you from sleeping pills and treat sleep apnea.
Yoga can improve your respiratory strength and oxygen flow. But, to be honest, daily exercise can be more effective than other treatments.
Sleep apnea is linked with decreased oxygen saturation in the blood. Yoga can improve oxygen levels due to its impact on the body system.
3. Change your sleep position
Making a slight change in your sleep position can reduce central sleep apnea and improve your sleep. A study found that over 50% of obstructive sleep apnea cases happen due to wrong sleeping positions.
Sleeping on your back can worsen symptoms. However, for some adults, sleeping on the side can help to breathe return to normal.
However, experts found that children with central sleep apnea sleep better on their backs. Therefore, we advise that you discuss body positioning and your central sleep apnea symptoms with your medic to evaluate your treatment options.
4. Use a humidifier
A humidifier is a device that add moisture to the air. Meanwhile, dry air irritates the respiratory system. A humidifier can open your airways, decrease congestion, and encourage clearer breathing.
For added benefits, consider adding peppermint or eucalyptus oil to a humidifier. These three essential oils have known anti-inflammatory and soothing benefits. It is good to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to clean your humidifier.
5. Avoid smoking and alcohol
Alcohol and smoking can be hazardous to your health. Consider quitting smoking and l alcohol intake to reduce obstructive sleep apnea symptoms.
Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles that control breathing. Unfortunately, that can lead to loud snoring and an episodic sleep cycle. It can also result in inflammation in the airways, blocking your airflow.
Like alcohol, tobacco use can also contribute to inflammation and swelling in your airways. That can worsen your snoring and your obstructive sleep apnea.
Medical practitioners identified smoking as a risk factor for developing obstructive sleep apnea. However, the study noted that people with sleep apnea might also have a predisposition to smoking, so treating sleep apnea symptoms may help in quitting smoking.
6. Use oral appliances
Oral appliances can help with obstructive sleep apnea by relocating your tongue or jaw to keep your airway open when sleeping.
The two major types are tongue-stabilizing devices and mandibular advancement devices. These work by moving the lower tongue or jaw forward to decrease the obstruction in the back of your throat.
These appliances include over-the-counter options and low-cost devices custom-fit by a local dentist. In addition, experts support oral appliances as an effective therapy for obstructive sleep apnea.
A guideline recommends oral appliances for people with obstructive sleep apnea who can’t tolerate CPAP devices. In addition, this guideline supports oral appliances over OTC options because they align with jaw positioning, improving sleep quality.
The above self-care remedies and lifestyle changes for obstructive sleep apnea can reduce sleep disorder symptoms. However, you don’t have to ignore traditional treatments like an oral appliance, CPAP therapy, and other positive airway pressure devices.
Your doctor may also prescribe medications or surgery if necessary. Therefore, discussing your symptoms with your doctor during your sleep study session is essential before attempting alternative treatment.