Obstructive sleep apnea, which is the most common type of sleep apnea, is a condition in which tissues in and around the airways collapse during sleep, causing the person to wake briefly to clear their airways. Unfortunately, this can happen many times throughout the night, which can lead to poor sleep quality and poor overall health.
If you have sleep apnea, there’s some good news. In fact, there are things you can do to help your body get the steady stream of oxygen it needs at night.
At Bucktown Wicker Park Dental in Chicago, Illinois, Melissa Daza, DDS, and Michelle Schwartz, DDS, are experts in treating sleep apnea. In this blog, they explain some things you can do to help improve the quality of your sleep.
Change your sleeping habits
Studies show that many cases of sleep apnea are connected to problems with sleeping positions. You may be able to address snoring, airway obstruction, and other sleep-related issues just by changing your sleeping position.
For example, sleeping on your back may worsen your breathing issues. Instead, try sleeping on your side.
Also, a dry environment can increase congestion and airway irritation, which can worsen sleep apnea symptoms. So, try setting up a humidifier in your sleep area. This may help increase the humidity and support your breathing. And, you can try adding a few drops of an essential oil, such as eucalyptus oil, to produce a soothing effect.
Live a healthy lifestyle
Weight makes a difference when it comes to sleep apnea. Obesity can cause there to be excess tissue in the throat area, which can lead to sleep apnea. If you get down to a healthy weight and maintain it, you may be able to eliminate your sleep apnea.
Furthermore, using alcohol and tobacco can also cause sleep apnea. Alcohol relaxes key muscles in the throat, which can lead to snoring and blockages. And using tobacco can lead to swelling, inflammation, and blockages in the airways. Therefore, abstaining from alcohol in the evening and quitting smoking may eliminate your sleep apnea.
Try an oral device
Using an oral device may also be able to help you keep your airways open. Overnight oral devices, also called mandibular advancement devices, shift your lower jaw forward to help keep your airways open.
These devices, which are custom-made to fit the mouth of each patient, are often effective in helping patients breathe well at night. At Bucktown Wicker Park Dental, we can fit you for one of these oral appliances.
If you have sleep apnea and want help treating it, we can give you the guidance you need. To learn more, call 773-252-2303 to book an appointment with Bucktown Wicker Park Dental today.