If you have been diagnosed with Sleep Apnea, you should know it is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition. It is a breathing disorder where a person stops breathing during sleep because of an obstruction or blockage in the upper airway or when the brain does not send signals to the muscles that control breathing, causing a lack of oxygen. Regardless of what the severity of your AHI (Apnea Hypopnea Index), a measure used to indicate the severity of your sleep breathing disorder or the appropriate therapy selected by your doctor, behavioral modifications will ensure your treatment has successful results. Medical treatments can include CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) or an oral appliance.
Some patients find it difficult to tolerate CPAP and often give up quickly, feeling discouraged when quality of sleep actually gets worse at the beginning, as time is needed to get acclimated to wearing a mask and using the device. The good news is that once you are able to get comfortable using it, it helps you progress through the stages of sleep and greatly improves your overall quality of sleep. Once you consistently use it you can see results within 3-7 days of wearing it, making it worth the challenge of learning to sleep with it.
An oral appliance, another treatment option is found by most to be easier to use. It is generally similar to a mouth guard if you have ever played sports or a retainer if you have ever worn braces. It works by extending the lower jaw forward to open the airway or by holding the tongue in position to prevent the airway from collapsing. Although its use is only recommended for those with mild to moderate sleep apnea. The last recommended medical treatment for sleep apnea is surgery, although the success rate is less than 10% in adults. You can speak to an ear, nose and throat doctor to discuss if surgery is a good course of treatment for you.
NATURAL TREATMENTS FOR SNORING + MILD SLEEP APNEA
While any one of the above natural sleep apnea treatments could help you to control snoring or manage your mild sleep apnea, those with moderate to severe sleep apnea will have the most benefit from CPAP therapy, a healthy weight loss plan and good sleep hygiene practices.