Although you may be able to temporarily treat sleep apnea on your own, you should consult your physician. If you have sleep apnea, you need to do something about it. Knowing about and understanding your options is a great step towards treatment. The information below offers some helpful tips on dealing with sleep apnea.
Do you smoke or drink alcoholic beverages? Take steps to eliminate these unhealthy habits. Both of these things affect your airway negatively and compound your sleep apnea problem. Alcohol use will lead to over-relaxation of your airways, making sleep apnea symptoms worse, while smoking can have a similar effect by constricting them. If you are unable to walk away from these habits forever, at least avoid them prior to sleeping.
If you are unsure whether or not you have sleep apnea, consider setting up an audio or video recorder next to your bed. When you review the recording, watch or listen for choking, gasping or other signs that you are not getting enough air as you sleep. Present your findings to your doctor if you suspect that you do have apnea.
You should know that using a CPAP machine can cause certain side effects, including snoring, congestion, irritation or dryness in your mouth and airways. If this occurs, you should go to your doctor and make sure you are using your machine properly. Consider using a different mask or a different machine.
Try your best to use your CPAP machine as much as possible if you get one. Some find that it can be uncomfortable to use at first, but the point is to use it and ward off trouble. However, you must use your CPAP a minimum of four hours for it to be effective. Keep trying to use your machine, and work up to a full night slowly if you need to.
Avoid using sleeping pills and do not be tempted to consume alcohol before bedtime. Both sleeping pills and alcohol are sedatives, which can interfere with your breathing, as they cause your throat muscles to relax. You should also avoid other types of sedatives, including some prescription painkillers and many street drugs.
Don’t leave your CPAP machine behind if you’re a sleep apnea sufferer headed out on a trip. Once you have a CPAP machine, neglecting to use it for even one night can cause problems. Your machine probably came with a convenient carrying bag. You can use it to carry your CPAP easily and safely anytime you leave home.
Doctors often recommend that sleep apnea patients consider treatment with a CPAP – Continuous Positive Airway Protection – mask and machine. The machine sends air through a hose to a mask covering your nose. The purpose is to help keep your airway open so you are breathing normally as you sleep. While the machine may initially seem a little foreign and uncomfortable, a great many patients adapt quickly and find they are getting much more restful sleep as a result.
Now that you’re aware of the methods you can try, start trying them. You will be able to find the right ways you can help your sleep apnea symptoms. When you have sound sleep, you get back control over both your days and nights.