Have you taken the sleep apnea quiz? At the Michigan Head & Neck Institute, we’ve created a simple questionnaire to help you find the possible source of your restless sleep or loud snoring. Taking the do I have sleep apnea quiz can help determine whether you have this sleep disorder, and this guide will help you find out ways to sleep with your sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Only a qualified sleep apnea doctor can accurately determine whether you have sleep apnea or not. However, here are some common signs and symptoms that may indicate you have sleep apnea:
- Gasping or choking while sleeping
- Chronic snoring
- Pauses while breathing during sleep
- Fatigue and drowsiness during the day after a full night’s sleep
These aren’t the only symptoms of sleep apnea, and even individuals who suffer from these symptoms may not have this sleep disorder. However, if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea by a sleep apnea specialist, find out how you can enjoy a good night’s sleep again.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep
At the end of the day, all you want is a restful night of deep, uninterrupted sleep. If your sleep apnea is causing you to snore loudly, your partner or family members may also be struggling to get a good night’s sleep.
Talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes that may help your particular case of sleep apnea. Often, losing weight, regular exercise and avoiding unhealthy habits like smoking, excessive alcohol and sleeping pills can all reduce your sleep apnea symptoms.
Improving Your Bedtime Routine
Other simple ways to improve your sleep include establishing a bedtime routine. Try sleeping on your side, or prop your head up if you are only comfortable sleeping on your back. Using breathing strips or a nasal dilator, try to keep your nasal passages open. Finally, you can try to keep your mouth closed by tightening those muscles. Chewing gum before bed is an easy way to attempt to keep your mouth muscles tight.
Medical Treatment Options
Tricks and routines may help reduce the symptoms of your sleep apnea. However, for severe cases, medical treatment is sometimes necessary. Ask your doctor about the following options and see which solution is best for your situation:
- Breathing devices, such as a CPAP machine
- Dental devices
- Surgery or implants
CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airflow Pressure, is one of the most common treatment options for sleep apnea. This device works by covering your nose and mouth with a breathing mask that provides constant airflow. The adjustable pressure can be fine-tuned by a sleep specialist until you are comfortable and can breathe easily while sleeping.
Dental devices can be used for moderate sleep apnea and are used to reposition your jaw or tongue. However, these devices can come with harmful side-effects and permanent jaw changes, so talk to your doctor or dentist before choosing this option.
Extreme cases can be treated with surgery. If you have excessive tissue inside your nose or in the back of your through, it may be removed in order to reduce or remove your sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, removing tonsils, a soft palate implant or enlarged upper airways can also be beneficial. Of course, surgery should be a last resort and comes with potential risks and complications.
If you believe you have sleep apnea or wish to discuss possible signs of a loved one having sleep apnea, call (586) 573-0438 today. At the Michigan Head & Neck Institute, we have highly trained and experienced doctors who can identify sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, and guide you through the best possible treatment plan. Enjoy a restful night sleep again, without snoring, restricted breathing and daily fatigue.