Sleep apnea is a disorder in which breathing is interrupted periodically throughout the night.
These pauses, or gaps, in breathing may be accompanied by choking or gasping but rarely awaken the sleeping individual.
An estimated 18 million people in Houston and throughout the country suffer from sleep apnea, many of them unaware of their condition.
The main sign of sleep apnea is chronic, loud snoring. Symptoms include:
- Daytime drowsiness
- Lack of concentration
- Memory loss
- Morning headaches
- Sore throat
- Dry mouth
Sleep Apnea Treatment Options
The most common sleep apnea treatment is the use of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). This involves controlled bursts of air being pumped into your throat while you sleep, delivered through a mask that is worn over the nose and mouth and attached to a machine.
Other options for treatment include oral mouth guards that reposition the lower jaw and tongue, nasal breathing strips and surgery.
While the best ENT in Houston would be recommend the above treatment options, they will also provide you with lifestyles changes that can eliminate your symptoms without the use of medical devices.
Reduce Sleep Apnea Symptoms
Below is a list of changes that have been proven to help reduce symptoms:
Eat better. Eating healthy and exercising regularly can help you lose weight, which has been shown to reduce sleep apnea symptoms.
Limit your alcohol consumption. Reducing your alcohol intake, especially before bed, is recommended. Alcohol can cause you to have a disruptive night sleep, which can cause an increase in sleep apnea symptoms.
Stop smoking. All Houston doctors recommend quitting to improve your overall health. Nicotine can cause the muscles in your throat to relax, leading to an obstruction while you sleep.
Change your sleep position. Experts recommend sleeping on your side instead of your back or stomach. This can help decrease the incidence of mild sleep apnea.
For more tips on reducing your sleep apnea symptoms without the use of devices or medication, contact your Houston ENT.