If you are unfamiliar with the word “apnea” it means without breath. Sleep apnea is a condition in which the throat closes up during sleeping. It causes awakenings and pauses during the night, sometimes resulting in loud snoring or gasping for air. A standard treatment for people suffering from sleep apnea are specialized breathing machines. These machines, which are in fact tight-fitting face masks, keep the airway open during night in order to relieve those pauses in breathing which are potentially dangerous. However, many people find the mask uncomfortable and they refuse to wear it.
In many cases, self-care may be the most appropriate way to deal with sleep apnea. In order to ease sleep apnea one can try changing their sleeping position. Sleeping on the back can cause the tongue and the soft palate to rest against the back of the throat and block the airway. Breathing problems at night can be eased by sleeping on the side or face down. Sleeping with special pillows or shirt that prevent sleeping on your back can help ease sleep apnea. An interesting trick which can also be used in order to prevent sleeping on the back is sewing a tennis ball on the back of your pajama top, which will keep you from rolling onto the back while sleeping.
Changes in lifestyle can greatly influence in easing sleep apnea. People suffering from sleep apnea should avoid drinking and smoking. Alcohol, nicotine and other drugs influence the brain, which stimulates respiration. Cigarettes directly irritate the airway whereas alcohol slows down the nervous system and relaxes the muscles in the throat. If you are overweight or obese, lose weight. The fat around the mouth and neck of an obese person can limit breathing, particularly when lying down. If people lose weight, it would make both sleep apnea and other health problems go away. Other ways to ease sleep apnea are: maintaining regular sleep hours, avoiding caffeine and heavy meals and if needed try to keep your nasal passages open at night with nasal sprays.
While a diagnosis of sleep apnea can be scary, it is a treatable condition and there are a variety of treatment options to reduce the symptoms. Home remedies and lifestyle modifications can go a long way in reducing sleep apnea symptoms. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems such as: high blood pressure, stroke, heart failures, irregular heartbeats and can even lead to poor performance at everyday activities.