Sleep apnea is a serious condition with significant consequences if left untreated. If you have sleep apnea, it means that your breathing is interrupted during sleep. This can lead to daytime fatigue and irritability and put you at risk of more serious health problems like heart disease or stroke. While there is no cure for sleep apnea, there are treatments to help manage the condition.
Here, we’ll go over five precautions you should take if you’re dealing with sleep apnea so you can live as healthy and comfortable a life as possible.
1. Get a Diagnosis From a Sleep Specialist
If you suspect that you may have sleep apnea, it’s vital to see a sleep specialist for a diagnosis. A sleep specialist can determine whether or not you have sleep apnea, what is causing it, and if so, what treatment is best for you. Considering the connection between sleep apnea and genetics, it’s also a good idea to talk to your family members about their sleep habits and see if any of them have any symptoms that could indicate sleep apnea.
2. Use a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Machine
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea, one of the most effective treatments is using a CPAP machine. A CPAP machine delivers air pressure through a mask that fits over your nose and mouth. The air pressure keeps your airways open so that you can breathe properly during sleep. It also helps reduce snoring and improve the quality of your sleep.
3. Follow Up With Your Doctor Regularly
Once you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea and started treatment, it’s important to follow up with your doctor regularly. This will allow your doctor to monitor your condition and ensure that your treatment plan works effectively. A periodic evaluation of your condition is necessary to ensure it’s not affecting various aspects of your health. Your doctor may need to adjust your treatment plan if your condition is not responding adequately to the current therapy.
4. Make Lifestyle Changes
Sometimes, making lifestyle changes like losing weight, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake can help improve sleep apnea symptoms. If your doctor recommends making lifestyle changes, be sure to follow their recommendations and make those changes gradually so that they stick. Most people find that their symptoms improve significantly when they take the time to make these changes.
5. Keep Up With Your Treatment Plan
Staying with your treatment plan is important even when you’re feeling better. Sleep apnea is a chronic condition requiring lifelong management to control symptoms. If you stop using your CPAP machine or skip out on follow-up appointments with your doctor, your symptoms will likely come back worse than before. You don’t want to fall backward after making all the effort to get on track.
You Can Manage Sleep Apnea
These five precautions should help you manage sleep apnea and enjoy a better quality of life. It may take some work, but the effort will be worth it in the end. The importance of getting diagnosed and staying with your treatment plan can’t be overstated. If you’re not sure what to do or have questions, it’s always best to talk to your doctor for more information.