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Sleep Apnea - What can you do?

In my  blog “Do You Have a Fat Tongue?”  I talked about sleep apnea and 5 potential red flags to look for in this disorder.  Now, what can be done to reduce the effects of sleep apnea?

 

1.)  Lose weight if you are carrying extra weight.  By dropping your weight by 10-15 lbs., it may reduce the thickness of your tongue, neck and soft tissues of the throat.

2.) Limit or avoid alcohol late in the day and evening.

3.)  If you smoke – stop smoking.

4.)  Sleep on your side rather than your back.

5.)  Avoid large meals in the evening especially close to bedtime.

6.)   Elevate the head of your bed 4-6 inches or sleep on a wedge pillow to elevate your torso, but make sure your neck is properly supported.

7.)  Avoid sedating medications such as sleeping pills, antianxiety drugs and some antihistamines.

8.)  Talk with a dentist who specializes in sleep apnea oral devices.  These are custom made devices that reposition the jaw and tongue while you sleep.

9.)  If your family doctor hasn’t referred you to a sleep clinic then this may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

10.) CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is a pump that connects to a mask that you wear during sleep that keeps your airway open.  Available through sleep specialists.

11.) Put your tongue on a workout, see:  tinyurl.com/tongue-exercise.

 

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