Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common oral condition that causes sleep-related breathing disorders. It causes individuals to stop breathing for brief intervals during their sleep. Since they do not take in enough oxygen, it often leads to sleep disruptions due to persistent gasping and waking up between the rest. Apart from morning fatigue, sleep apnea can lead to various health complications, including mental health disorders, memory loss, poor immune function, and the risk of heart failure. Some typical treatments include medication, breathing devices, and surgery. However, appropriate changes in your daily lifestyle can improve your sleep quality.
Here are a few ways that can help you relieve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea:
Maintain a healthy weight
Obesity increases the possibility of airway obstruction and constricts the nasal passages. Such blockages lead to breathing problems. Therefore, people struggling with sleep apnea are often recommended to maintain a healthy weight. It enables your body to keep your airways clear, reducing apnea symptoms. For obese patients, modest weight reduction can eliminate the need for upper airway surgery or long-term CPAP therapy.
Reduced oxygen saturation in blood gives rise to sleep apnea. However, practicing yoga enhances your respiratory strength and oxygen flow. The various breathing exercises can improve and maintain oxygen levels in your blood. Therefore, regular exercise helps you strengthen your heart while increasing your energy levels and fixing the symptoms associated with sleep apnea.
Change your sleep position
Varied sleep positions can improve or worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea for different people. For some, sleeping on your back, also known as the supine position, tends to exacerbate the symptoms. As a remedy, sleeping on the side can help retain normal breathing for some people. Therefore, individuals who struggle with sleep apnea should discuss their sleeping positions and symptoms with their doctor to analyze suitable treatment options.
Use a humidifier therapy
Humidifier therapy adds moisture to the atmosphere. Dry air often irritates the body and the respiratory system. However, using a humidifier enables you to open your airways, encouraging easier breathing. For additional benefits, consider adding peppermint, lavender, or eucalyptus oil to your humidifier, as these three essential oils are known to possess anti-inflammation and soothing properties.
Avoid smoking and alcohol
Alcohol disrupts the proper functioning of your throat, leading to snoring and interrupted sleep cycles. Similarly, tobacco also causes inflammation in your airways and blocks them, worsening your snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. Therefore, patients suffering from OSA should consider quitting smoking and limiting their alcohol intake to reduce the complications while improving their health and lifestyle.
Use oral appliances
Oral appliances help reposition your jaw or tongue to keep the airways open during their sleep. Devices like mandibular advancement devices and tongue stabilizing devices work by moving your lower jaw or tongue forward to decrease the obstruction at the back of your throat. Such devices can range anywhere from low-cost, over-the-counter options to devices that are custom-fit by dentists.
About Premier Oral Surgery
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