Lifestyle Changes to Treat Sleep Apnea

sleep apnea Denver, CO

If you have sleep apnea, then you have episodes where you stop breathing throughout the night. One of the most common treatments is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine. However, if you do not want a CPAP machine, there are several lifestyle changes that can help. Read on to learn more.

Losing weight

People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea. Being overweight can lead to excess tissue in the neck area, which is where the airway is. When an individual has too much tissue, it can partially or fully cover the airway during sleep. The excess tissue may also place pressure on the tongue and cause it to fall back. The individual does not have as much control over this during the night.

Quitting smoking

Smoking negatively affects the lungs and breathing habits. The smoke can irritate the tissues in the airway. When the tissues become irritated, they can begin to swell, which can block the airway. Because the airway is disrupted, it can become congested. As it vibrates, individuals will snore. Even people who previously smoked are likely to have sleep apnea.

There are many studies that link snoring, smoking and sleep apnea. One study showed that people who smoke are over twice as likely to snore than those who never smoked. Another study looked at current, past and never smokers. The study showed that one in four current or past smokers snored. But only one in seven people who never smoked snored. While snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea, it is not always.

Avoiding drinking

Alcohol can relax an individual, so it makes sense that it can also relax the muscles in the airway. This can cause sleep apnea. However, for individuals who have mild sleep apnea, alcohol can worsen it. Several studies have shown that alcohol can lengthen the amount of time that a sleep apnea episode lasts. It allows more time to pass between the time an individual stops breathing and when the patient wakes up.

Changing positions

Sometimes, the simplest solution can work. Sleeping on the back is not a good idea for those with sleep apnea. This allows the jaw to fall back over the airway. Other tissues near the airway also become crowded when individuals sleep on their backs.

Instead, sleeping on the side is a better option. This does not cause airway blockage. It can also provide better blood flow. This is why sleeping on the left side is slightly better than sleeping on the right.

Visit a doctor for sleep apnea treatment

Sleep apnea is a serious condition. If left untreated, it can cause many health problems. If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, it is a good idea to make the lifestyle changes above. However, it is also important to visit a doctor. Getting a sleep study can help a doctor determine if you have sleep apnea. A dentist can provide you with an oral appliance to help.

Request an appointment here: https://www.drjstearns.com or call Platte Valley Oral Surgery at (303) 997-0220 for an appointment in our Denver office.

Check out what others are saying about our services on Yelp: Read our Yelp reviews.

Recent Posts

Facial Trauma And Reconstructive Surgery

Reconstructive surgery is a great way for individuals who have experienced facial trauma to receive the care they need, restoring the appearance and function of their face as much as possible to how it was before the traumatic experience.By understanding what reconstructive surgery is, you can determine whether it is right for you and your…

Aftercare Tips For Wisdom Tooth Oral Surgery From A Family Dentist

Are you considering removing your wisdom teeth? Read on to learn about this common oral surgery procedure. Wisdom tooth extraction is an oral surgery often required when the wisdom teeth on the jaw are causing discomfort or posing a risk of harming the surrounding teeth. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and the…

Ask An Oral Surgeon - Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Always Necessary?

Once you have become a late teen, you might believe that you will not need a wisdom teeth extraction. However, this might not be true. The wisdom teeth might erupt through the gums until you are a young adult. Knowing more about these teeth and the way that these can act can make it easier…

Common Signs Of TMJ Syndrome

Many people suffer from TMJ disorders, which affect the joints of the jaws. These disorders can be difficult to diagnose because the joint is very complex. Generally, about 12% of individuals in the United States have a TMJ disorder. Usually, women get this disorder more than men. Knowing more about the signs can help you…

Recent Posts

Facial Trauma And Reconstructive Surgery

Facial Trauma And Reconstructive Surgery

Reconstructive surgery is a great way for individuals who have experienced facial trauma to receive the care they need, restoring the appearance and function of their face as much as possible to how it was before the traumatic experience.By understanding what reconstructive surgery is, you can determine whether it is right for you and your…

Aftercare Tips For Wisdom Tooth Oral Surgery From A Family Dentist

Aftercare Tips For Wisdom Tooth Oral Surgery From A Family Dentist

Are you considering removing your wisdom teeth? Read on to learn about this common oral surgery procedure. Wisdom tooth extraction is an oral surgery often required when the wisdom teeth on the jaw are causing discomfort or posing a risk of harming the surrounding teeth. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and the…