If you have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you might be wondering what you should do next. The first thing you should do before taking action is consult with your doctor about the appropriate lifestyle changes that will improve your condition and quality of life. You may be surprised by the things you can immediately implement that will positively impact your day-to-day life.
Here are some of the recommended steps you can take after getting a sleep apnea diagnosis:
Get Professional Treatment
One of the most common recommendations for sleep apnea treatment is professional treatment in the form of a CPAP machine or oral appliance. A CPAP machine is a machine that sits on your bedside with a mask attachment that fits over your nose and mouth at night. The machine’s purpose is to improve the airflow using continuous positive airway pressure while you sleep. However, CPAP machines can be noisy, and many patients find wearing a mask as they sleep uncomfortable.
An alternative option is an oral appliance. An oral appliance is a custom-made mouthguard-like device that helps support your airway by moving the lower jaw forward to encourage proper airflow. Dr. Winsome Henry Ward specializes in developing oral appliances that will help you achieve restful sleep and return to a normal life.
After professional treatment, your doctor might recommend simple lifestyle changes that will have a positive affect on your sleep. Daily exercise can help ease sleep apnea symptoms. Regular exercise, like brisk walking, yoga, or other cardiovascular activities can offer long term relief to the symptoms.
- Avoid Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
Smoking and drinking alcohol are two activities that can constrict your throat and inhibit proper breathing when you sleep. Keeping away from these activities can reduce further complications as you treat your condition.
- Change Your Sleep Position
Sleeping on your back can worsen sleep apnea symptoms like snoring. When you sleep on your back, your tongue and soft palate lie against the back of your throat. This blocks your airway. Instead, it can help to sleep on your side or stomach. To help you rearrange your sleeping position, you can wedge a pillow behind your back or use a tennis ball or similar to alert you when you roll onto your back in the night.
If you have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea and you’re in need of professional treatment, Dr. Winsome Henry Ward is here to help. Specializing in alternative treatments for sleep apnea, including oral appliances that are custom made for you, working with Dr. Henry Ward can greatly improve your condition. Call our office today for a free sleep apnea consultation and get on the road to a better nights sleep.