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Sleep apnea 101: what it is and how to cure it

Sleep apnea 101: what it is and how to cure it

More than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. It’s not uncommon, to say the least. It’s a problem that can arise from a variety of reasons such as weight gain, alcohol consumption, and even genetics. If you think you might have sleep apnea, finding the root cause is definitely step one in finding a solution. So this leaves the questions: what is it and how do you cure this disorder?


What is sleep apnea?

According to the Sleep Foundation, “Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep.” More specifically, OSA happens when your airway is being obstructed, which then reduces or completely stops airflow. Periods when breathing stops are called apnea or apneic episodes. Some people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t notice their unnatural breathing. However, if left unchecked, sleep apnea can result in even worse, life-altering health problems, so it is important to seek solutions or professional help if you think you might be suffering from sleep apnea.


What causes sleep apnea?

There’s a long list of reasons as to why over 18 million Americans have sleep apnea. Below are some of the factors that can increase the chances of having sleep apnea.


  • Weight: Obesity increases the risk of OSA as fat deposits around the neck and throat can cause airway obstructions
  • Genetics: Thicker necks can sometimes indicate narrower airways
  • Being male: Unfortunately, men are two to three times more likely to get OSA
  • Ageing: Sleep apnea naturally occurs more in older adults
  • Alcohol or sedative consumption: These and alike substances relax muscles in the throat, causing them to collapse and obstruct the airway
  • Smoking: Smoking can increase inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway
  • Nasal congestion: Those who have difficulties breathing through their nose are more prone to OSA 

How to cure sleep apnea

A variety of sleep apnea solutions are out there. From CPAP machines, to sleep apnea mouthpieces, and even surgery, it really depends on your budget and how serious the problem is. With that, let’s take a look at some options for curing this problem.


CPAP

Continuous positive airway pressure machines, otherwise known as CPAP, is a popular treatment for OSA. It’s a facemask worn throughout the duration of your sleep, and it encourages airflow to keep airways open. Although CPAP machines are intrusive and let’s face it, not the prettiest sight to see - they are proven to be an effective tool for sleep apnea.


Lifestyle

Lifestyle changes like losing weight, limiting alcohol, and quitting smoking are common ways that reduce sleep apnea symptoms. For the most part, these activities decrease fat around your throat and upper airways. Quitting smoking specifically decreased the swelling and inflammation in the upper airways. 


Surgery

For extreme cases, Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty surgery is worth considering. It removes extra tissues from the back of the throat to allow better airflow and to relieve snoring. Another method is called a tracheostomy. Acting as a last resort method, this surgery punctures an opening of the windpipe that bypasses the obstruction in the throat. 



Finally, anti-snoring mouthpieces are a great answer for those who want an inexpensive, yet effective way to cure sleep apnea. Sleep apnea mouthpieces are a popular choice as they position the tongue to enable better airflow. Many people with OSA opt for this option as it’s easy, inexpensive, and non intrusive.


Sleep apnea is a beast of a sleep disorder that has many causes, but also a hefty amount of cures. If you struggle with OSA and you’re on the market for something effective and scientifically researched, the Good Morning Snore Solution mouthpiece is a great place to start! Let us know what you think - we love hearing from everyone who’s tried it!


References

  1. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-apnea
  2. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/sleep-apnea
  3. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/symptoms-causes/syc-20377631
  4. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sleep-apnea/in-depth/cpap/art-20044164
  5. https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep/obstructive-sleep-apnea#treatment