If you feel you may be suffering from sleep apnea, you should make an appointment with your primary doctor for evaluation. He then may decide that you need to see a sleep specialist. Read on for information about sleep apnea, and decide whether you need to dig deeper into the causes of your snoring.
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.
Many people don’t realize that sleep apnea is not something to ignore and can be potentially dangerous if left untreated. If you suspect that you or a loved one has it, it’s important to make an appointment with a physician to talk to them about it soon. An official diagnosis might mean consultation with a sleep specialist, a sleep test and monitoring to get a whole grasp on your situation.
Start sleeping on your side. When you sleep on your back and have sleep apnea, your airway gets block by your tongue and throat tissues. To avoid rolling onto your back once you are asleep, try sleeping with pillows cushioning your side. This helps prevent you from turning onto your back.
Clear up your nasal passage before heading to bed. If you suffer from sleep apnea and have problems with a “stuffed up” nose, using a nasal spray or device can help clear your nasal airway. This is not a permanent solution, but one you can use when your apnea symptoms are the worst.
Sleep in a prone position. Don’t sleep on your back. When you sleep, your throat muscles relax, and back sleeping causes gravity to pull the relaxed muscles downward, restricting airflow. However, breathing is much easier if you sleep on your side instead. Prop pillows on one side to prevent you from rolling on your back while sleeping.
For the sleep apnea patient using CPAP treatment, the wide range of options in machines and masks can seem overwhelming. The key to selecting the best equipment for your needs is to test out the various models yourself. Your Durable Medical Equipment (DME) provider should have a variety of masks and accessories available for you to try out. Don’t settle for the “standard” company mask. Insist on viewing several and being fitted properly. Comfort and good fit are key to successfully adjusting to CPAP treatment.
Your doctor may suggest keeping a sleep journal to help pinpoint if you have sleep apnea or not. Keep track of how long you are able to sleep at night, as well as anything else related to your sleeping process. Your partner can let you know if you snore too loudly, jerk your limbs, or stop breathing. This helps the doctor discern whether you have sleep apnea or not.
As you have seen from the above article, sleep apnea is treatable, but you need to take proactive steps into the treatment. The ideas above have given you a good foundation to find out helpful information, but, ultimately, a doctor’s visit should be first and foremost on your list of proactive steps.