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Cures for Sleep Apnea

Cures for Sleep Apnea

There are several cures for sleep apnea which will be mentioned below. Can you however really cure sleep apnea by losing weight? If you Treadmillhave been asking this question, then the answer is; yes you can cure sleep apnea by losing weight, but it does depend on the severity of the sleep apnea. There are indeed many cures available on the market today, but the one cure I want to talk about is how weight loss have in fact cured my Obstructive Sleep Apnea many years ago. Here is my story.

 

My history with sleep apnea

I remember many years ago, and I am talking of over fifteen years here, I would be in a deep sleep and the next thing I knew I would wake up and be gasping for air as if I could not breath. I did not always know about it though. This however happened several times at night, so I was told, but I never understood why, and I was way too stubborn to see a doctor. At the time I did not even know I was snoring, let alone something more serious.

It did not happen every night so I thought it wasn’t that important; little did I know. Today you would recognize this as a possible sleep apnea symptom or OSA, which is a serious condition where your throat tissues completely block your airway and you are prevented from breathing. Read What is Sleep Apnea, if you want to know more.

AerobicsWhile I did not know what I had at the time, I did curiously inadvertently manage to cure my sleep apnea by deciding that I needed to lose weight. Thinking back today, when I decided I wanted to lose weight, my breathing and snorting problems was the last thing on my mind. I wasn’t way over weight but I did have a bit of a double chin and some belly fat. I started going to gym and actually kind of a little maybe liked it a little. OK, so gym was not my favorite thing in the world, but I must say the aerobics class next door did make it a bit bearable. 🙂

The small town I was living in did not have much to do, so I had to stay busy by playing tennis, squash and going to gym. Little did I know how beneficial this really was to my health. Pretty soon I woke up less and less at night, and reached a stage where I even forgot that it ever did happen to me.

Like I said, at the time I had no idea what OSA was, I did not know that I possibly had it, and I did not know I was suppose to see a doctor. I definitely did not consider the fact that exercising was one of the cures for sleep apnea; I only did it to look good. 😉

 

Sleep apnea symptoms

Just for information and reference purpose I include some of the possible symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. People could have a few or even just one of the below symptoms. The symptoms below could also point to something else, and does not automatically mean you have sleep apnea. You should consult a doctor if your symptoms are severe or you are unsure.

• Loud snoring, with periods of silence when breathing stops, followed by gasping for air
• Irritability
• Morning headaches
• Mood changes
• Daytime sleepiness
• Forgetfulness
• Anxiety or depression
• Low libido

 

Lessons learned

LearningSo what did I learn? I learned that a lot of pretty girls go to aerobics classes. Yea OK, I also learned that exercising can be good for you no matter the reasons that you want to do it. People who are overweight are more likely to snore because of the extra tissues in the back of their throat which may narrow their airways.

So when I started to exercise actively and playing a sport or two six days a week, the muscles in my neck and throat started to develop. The development in muscle tone ensured that my airway did not close excessively or collapsed anymore and therefore curing my moderate OSA.

I did also experience some other symptoms of sleep apnea, and I will briefly elaborate on these. At the time and even still now I suffer from morning headaches, but this could not be linked to sleep apnea in my case, as I also suffer from migraines. So it was concluded by my doctor that my morning headaches was part of my migraine condition, and the same conclusion persist today. Again, lessons learned; when seeing my doctor at the time I only mentioned my headaches and not all my symptoms.

Mood changes then and now; I also did not see a doctor for this; I always just assumed I was a SOB. 😀

 

Cures available for sleep apnea

There are several things that can be done to control or cure your sleep apnea and I briefly mention them below, as they will be elaborated Cures for Sleep Apneaon in future posts. The main subject of this post however has been exercising and weight loss, and I can’t emphasize it enough.

Have you ever been to a doctor for another illness or problem, and the doctor’s recommendation was; “You need to get more exercise”, well…. they are right. Exercising is good for you, no matter what you are trying to ‘heal’.

There is no need to have a heavy exercise 6 days a week like I did, 2-3 days a week light upper body exercises should be fine, who knows you might even like it. Even losing a little weight can make a huge difference to your OSA. Ensure that you follow a healthy diet.

Related article: Best fat burning foods.

Other cures

• Other behavioral therapy (no alcohol, no smoking, no sleeping pills)
• Additional behavioral therapy (avoid sleeping on back)
• Snoring mouthpiece and snoring aids
• Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
• Surgery

Here is a video discussing the benefit of exercise, in this instance the exercises is directed  specifically to the throat and jaw region; a matter I will discuss in a future article.

Conclusion

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) could be very mild and can range to very severe. Remembering my situation and symptoms today I realize that I was very fortunate that I had a very mild to moderate type of sleep apnea, and was lucky to get some handy early warning signals. It is possible to control mild to moderate OSA by exercising, losing weight and making some life style changes.

Look at the symptoms above and consider your situation carefully. Do not be stubborn like me though, but do make the effort to consider each symptom in isolation and in conjunction with all other symptoms, and then make your own decisions of how to handle your OSA. It is possible, as in my case that your symptoms could be actually pointing to something else, so be careful.

ExercisingIt is also possible to alleviate and control your sleep apnea yourself by losing weight and making some important changes in your life. The purchasing of a CPAP might also be necessary and helpful. Just remember my situation was different and I was lucky, and each person and situation differs from each other. Find what cures for sleep apnea works for you, in my case it was exercising and some other behavior issues (I also started drinking less), it might be something else for you.

Be very careful however, that if your symptoms are severe that you see a doctor immediately, for example; you are extremely tired and sleepy every day, always irritable, keeping your bed partner awake with extremely loud snoring etc. If you’re waking up episodes (AHI) is longer than 10 seconds per incident and are more than 30 apneas per hour, your OSA is considered severe. I would also see a doctor if your apneas (pauses in breathing) reaches the moderate stage (15-29 apneas). Do not take chances with your health.

Remember to accept what your wife, husband, partner, family, friend etc. say about your symptoms, as they will usually be noticing your symptoms before you do. Ask for support from family to ensure that you can properly cope with your situation. Make a point of noticing the early warning signals and then act on them, and if you have OSA have a look at all the cures for sleep apnea and find the right ones for you. Please leave any comments below, I would love to hear from you. Be safe, take care of yourself and get healthy.

 

 

Images: http://pixabay.com/
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