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What to do if You Have Sleep Apnea

If you are one of the many Americans suffering from sleep apnea, chances are that you want your symptoms gone as soon as possible. Not only is sleep apnea disruptive for both you and potentially your partner, but sleep apnea has also been associated with other serious medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Here are several treatments your dentist recommends.Sleep Apnea

1. Sleep on Your Side

Obstructive sleep apnea episodes happen when your throat collapses, making it impossible for you to breathe. Help keep your throat open to reduce the episodes and your snoring by sleeping on your side instead. If this is difficult, there are special pillows or shirts that can help you stay on your side all night.

2. Avoid Alcohol, Smoking and Certain Medications

Alcohol, smoking and some medications all have the potential to worsen your sleep apnea, because they make it harder for your throat to remain open while you sleep. If you drink or smoke currently, quit both and see if it helps. Speak to your doctor before quitting or changing any medications, however.

3. Lose Weight

While not all overweight people suffer from sleep apnea, many people who suffer from sleep apnea are also overweight. If you are significantly overweight, reduce your risk by exercising and maintaining a healthy diet in order to lose those extra pounds.

4. Visit Your Dentist

If the previous three at­home treatments aren't enough to end your symptoms, your next step is to call and make an appointment with a dentist. Sleep apnea can be serious if not treated, and you won't want to put your health at risk.

Common treatment options include mouth guards, breathing devices and surgery. Your dentist will help you decide which treatment option is best for you. Give us a call today!

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