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What to Do When Home Remedies Aren’t Curing Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, preventing people from getting a good night’s rest and leaving them fatigued during the day. The disorder occurs when the muscles in the back of the throat do not keep the airway open, causing a breathing pause that lasts at least ten seconds.
Treating sleep apnea without home remedies
A lot of people that have sleep apnea treat the disorder with home remedies, which are effective. However, the remedies do not always work. For those that home remedies do not work for, there are other treatment options available, some of which include:
- Losing weight: Overweight people have been able to cure their sleep apnea by losing weight. According to doctors, even a slight weight loss can help relieve constriction of your throat. Even though sleep apnea can be cured by returning to a healthy weight, the disorder can recur if the weight is regained.
- Sleeping on your side: Sleeping on one’s back can cause the tongue and soft palate to rest against the back of the throat and block the airway. This can be avoided by sleeping on one’s side or abdomen.
- Regular exercise: Exercising regularly can ease the symptoms of sleep apnea even if there is no weight loss involved. Doctors recommend getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to ease the symptoms.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the back of the throat, which interferes with breathing while sleeping.
- Quit smoking: Smoking cigarettes increases swelling in the upper airway, which makes the sleep apnea worse. Smokers who have sleep apnea should look for resources to help them quit if they want to sleep better at night.
If the home remedies do not work and any of these tips do not help with the sleep apnea, the only alternative is to seek professional help. Some of the treatment options that doctors use to treat sleep apnea include:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP): A CPAP machine is used to treat moderate to severe sleep apnea. The machine delivers air pressure through a mask while the patient sleeps. The air pressure delivered by the machine is greater than the pressure in the surrounding air and is enough to keep the upper airway passages open, which prevents apnea and snoring.
- Other airway devices: These include the auto-CPAP, which automatically adjusts the air pressure while the patient sleeps. The bilevel positive airway pressure (BPAP) machine provides more pressure when the patient inhales and less when they exhale.
- Oral appliances: Oral appliances are used if the patient is not sleeping comfortably with airway devices. They are easier to use than airway devices and are designed to keep the throat open while the patient sleeps.
This is only an option when other treatments have failed. However, they are used as the first treatment option if the patient’s jaw has structural problems.
Home remedies are effective in treating sleep apnea. However, when they fail to work, these treatment options can be used to treat the disorder. If you have sleep apnea and have not been able to treat it with home remedies, talk to your doctor to find out which of these treatment options are right for you.
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