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Is CPAP the only way to deal with my sleep apnea?

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Is CPAP the only way to deal with my sleep apnea?

C.P.A.P. (continuous positive airway pressure) is generally the best treatment for moderate to severe sleep apnea. That said, if you have been diagnosed with mild obstructive sleep apnea, our Langley dentists can recommend other options that could help to relieve your sleep apnea symptoms. 

Sleep apnea is a serious condition, only a medical professional can diagnose sleep apnea.  If you have been diagnosed with substantial or severe sleep apnea, CPAP is generally the first and most effective treatment option. That said, there are other treatment options you may want to consider trying, to help lessen your symptoms, if you suffer from mild obstructive sleep apnea.

NOTE: Before making any lifestyle changes it's important to check with your doctor.

Lifestyle Changes To Improve Sleep Apnea Symptoms

There are a number of lifestyle changes which can be recommended to help lesson the symptoms of sleep apnea. While these lifestyle changes may not work for everyone, if your goal is to get a good night's rest and wake up feeling alert, these changes may help you to reduce your sleep apnea symptoms.

Lose Weight

Weight loss is known to be particularly effective in reducing the symptoms of sleep apnea. Patients who are overweight often have extra tissue around their airway. Overall weight loss can help to shrink this excess tissue and allow air to flow more freely to the lungs. Some studies have shown that sleep apnea symptoms may be reduced by as much as a 30% when patients lose just 10% of their body weight.

Avoid Alcohol and Sedatives

A patient's airway can become obstructed when the throat muscles relax due to the effects of alcohol or sedatives. To help reduce the symptoms of your sleep apnea try to avoid alcohol and sedatives for at least 4 hours before bed.  

Sleep on Your Side

If you suffer from sleep apnea, try training yourself to sleep on your side instead of your back. Risk of sleep apnea is increased in people who sleep on their back. Back sleeping may cause gravity to pull on the tissues at the back of the throat and potentially cause the airway to narrow or even collapse.

To help train yourself to sleep on your side try propping pillows up against your back while you lie on your side, or try placing a tennis ball in your back pyjama pocket when you go to bed, to prevent yourself from rolling onto your back while you sleep. 

Dental Appliances

A number of dental appliances are available to help reduce the symptoms of mild sleep apnea. 

These appliances are relatively comfortable to wear when properly fitted by your dentist, and reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea by holding the tongue and jaw forward, preventing them from slipping backwards and obstructing the airway. 

Our dentists at Willowbrook Dental Centre can fit your dental appliance to the shape and size of your mouth. It's important for your dental appliance to fit comfortably. If you don't wear it, it can't work. So, If your dental appliance is causing you discomfort speak to your dentist about having your appliance adjusted or replaced.

Only a medical professional can accurately diagnose sleep apnea. If you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea contact Willowbrook Dental Centre in Langley to speak with one of our dentists about effective treatment options.

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