If you have diagnosed with sleep apnea, you have likely heard of CPAP therapy. CPAP—continuous positive airway pressure—therapy is considered one of the most effective ways of treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). For some people, however, it may not be the right option.
Many people find it difficult to adjust to using a mask at night, even if they have tried a variety of different options. Those who travel frequently might find it inconvenient to have to bring along their CPAP machine everywhere they go. CPAP has improved since it introduced in the 1980s, but some sleep apnea sufferers prefer to investigate other options for treatment.
Because there are risks involved with leaving sleep apnea untreated—such as heart problems, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure—it is essential to find other options, even if the best treatment available is not right for you.
Call Dr. Sam Carroll if you’d like a free consultation at your Yuma dentist to talk about other options for treating sleep apnea—without CPAP therapy.
Lifestyle Changes to Treat Sleep Apnea
Although not a quick fix, lifestyle changes can lessen the severity of OSA over a period:
- Losing weight: If you are an overweight sufferer of OSA, even losing 10 pounds can make a big difference. Everyone has fat across their neck area, but the heavier you are, the more the fat pads below your chin can obstruct your airways while you sleep.
- Exercising: Improving the tone of your muscles can also help lead to less severe sleep apnea.
- Sleep position therapy: For those with milder OSA, learning to sleep on their side rather than their back can help keep the upper airway from collapsing while you sleep. An old tennis ball sewn on the back of a shirt can help with this, although there is also new sensor technology available.
- OSA Treatment in Yuma AZ