How to Better Manage Sleep Apnea

Snoring has been associated with all manner of unpleasant noises, such as sawing logs, a buzz saw, or a freight train, just for example. But what if your nightly snoring is more than just a disruption to your partner’s rest? What if it is related to a much more serious condition – one that could be fatal? A sleep study will help you to determine if you are among the growing number of adults suffering from sleep apnea, a condition by which the airways become obstructed during sleep, causing you to snore and eventually stop breathing, and forcing your body to jerk awake in response. If left untreated, this condition can worsen and even lead to death in extreme cases. So how can you best manage this serious condition?

The best news about sleep apnea is that is 100% treatable, and in some cases, even curable. It will depend largely on the causes of your sleep apnea, but most people start with the same treatment: a CPAP machine. A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine is designed to keep your airways open during sleep, thanks to a face mask attached to a machine that forces pressurized air into your breathing passages, keeping them open when they might otherwise collapse. This is not the only treatment for sleep apnea, but it is the most common and effective, as well as the most immediate treatment. It will not only cure your snoring, which your sleeping partner is sure to appreciate, but it will ensure that you don’t stop breathing during the night, giving you the full night’s rest you’ve been missing (supposing sleep apnea is the only thing impeding restful slumber).

In some cases, excess weight is a contributing factor to the onset and progression of sleep apnea. In such situations, losing weight can reduce symptoms or even eliminate your sleep apnea. However, this may not be the only reason for your sleep apnea. Enlarged tissues in the mouth, throat, or sinuses could also be to blame. In these cases, the only permanent solution may be surgery. But as your doctor will probably warn you, there is no guarantee that surgery will cure your condition.

Of course, this is assuming you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea. Less common is central sleep apnea, a condition by which your brain stops sending messages to your body to breathe normally during sleep. You will need to see a specialist if you are dealing with this condition. But if you have the more common form of obstructive sleep apnea, you’ll be happy to hear that there is a sleep apnea treatment that can help you.

Whether you’re working toward the prospect of permanently curing your sleeping disorder through weight loss or surgery, you can certainly use a machine in the meantime, minimizing the symptoms and risks associated with sleep apnea. And you’ll not only enjoy the restful night’s sleep you’ve been longing for, but you’ll get the peace of mind that comes with knowing you won’t stop breathing during the night and never wake up.