If you’ve been diagnosed with a sleep apnea disorder, it’s important that you seek treatment right away! If you haven't noticed any sleep apnea symptoms, it doesn’t hurt to know how you can prevent sleep apnea to avoid as many risk factors as possible.
To understand how to prevent sleep apnea, let’s define this sleep disorder and determine how to identify it.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
There are three types of sleep apnea disorders, and obstructive sleep apnea is the most common one. This condition is one that causes the throat muscles to relax periodically, blocking a person’s airways while they sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious sleep disorder, as oxygen does not reach the brain during these lapses in breathing! If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, poor immune system and other serious health conditions.
Can You Prevent Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Although obstructive sleep apnea isn’t technically preventable, you can do your part to avoid as many sleep apnea causes and risk factors as possible! Mitigate poor habits that contribute to obstructive sleep apnea to lessen your chances of developing this disorder.
How to Prevent Obstructive Sleep Apnea:
- Maintain a healthy weight. People who are obese or overweight run a greater risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Excess fat around the neck can block the airways, causing obstructive sleep apnea.
- Avoid alcohol before sleep. Drinking alcohol before going to bed increases your chances of developing this sleep disorder, because alcohol prompts the muscle relaxation that causes obstruction.
- Kick the smoking habit. Smoking causes inflammation in the airways, which narrows the airways, leading to obstructive sleep apnea.
- Relieve nasal congestion. When the nasal passages are congested or blocked, you’re forced to breathe through your mouth while sleeping, which increases your chances of developing obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Sleep apnea is commonly characterized by loud snoring. If you’ve slept next to someone with sleep apnea, you’ve probably heard the intense snoring symptom!
Other common obstructive sleep apnea symptoms include:
- Waking up with a sore throat
- Waking up with a headache
- Extreme tiredness throughout the day
- Waking up abruptly throughout the night
- Sweating throughout the night
- Waking up choking
These are serious symptoms that can significantly hinder your quality of life. If you recognize these symptoms, it’s important that you see a doctor as soon as possible!
As a top orthodontist in Millbrook, Montgomery and Wetumpka, we want to help you live your healthiest live! If you want to know how we can help widen your airways to relieve obstructions through orthodontics, we encourage you to reach out to us.