If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea you may feel somewhat powerless. Your doctor should have given you some treatment options such as the use of a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine or surgery. Many people wonder if there is anything you can do to help reduce their sleep apnea episodes. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and check with him/her before starting any alternative therapy.
Weight is a contributing factor to not only snoring but to sleep apnea as well. If you are overweight shedding those excess pounds can be a great way to not only improve your sleep apnea, but your overall health and wellbeing. There are two ways that obesity can affect sleep apnea. Firstly, the more fatty tissue you have around your neck, the more pressure is on your airway which can cause obstructions.
By losing weight you reduce this pressure, sometimes significantly. Secondly, excess weight in the midsection can put pressure on the diaphragm which regulates breathing. Excess weight can make it more difficult for the diaphragm to do its job. Losing weight probably won’t cure your sleep apnea, but it may help reduce the severity of it. If you need to lose a significant amount of weight check with your doctor before starting any diet regimen.
If you smoke, quit. By now you probably know about the many serious diseases that smoking causes, but it can also make your sleep apnea worse. This is because smoking causes decreased lung capacity which in turn makes breathing more difficult. Do your health a favor and quit smoking immediately. Talk to your doctor about different methods you can use to quit smoking for good.
Alcohol is another substance that can make your sleep apnea worse. Alcohol before bed tends to relax throat muscles which can exacerbate sleep apnea episodes and their frequency. You should also try to avoid sleeping pills or any other type of depressant before bed.
Finally, allergies can actually make your sleep apnea worse. Many people with allergy symptoms find that their throat feels tight. Check with your doctor to see what types of medications you can take to relieve your symptoms so they don’t increase your sleep apnea episodes.
Rudy Watkins writes about sleep apnea cures and treatments and other related topics on the Apnea Guide website. Visit http://www.apneaguide.com to learn more and sign up for our free newsletter.