Most doctors recommend CPAP therapy to treat sleep apnea patients.
It can eliminate and prevent snoring too.
A CPAP machine has a mask that fits over your mouth and nose or just your nose.
The mask is hooked up to a machine that delivers a continuous flow of air into the nostrils.
The fact is that the CPAP device does not give you more oxygen.
It produces continuous positive airway pressure to stop the airway from collapsing throughout the night.
Thus, you don’t experience breathing stoppages when you sleep.
Difference Between Sleep Apnea And Snoring
The first step to effective treatment of sleep apnea and snoring is to know their differences.
Both can disrupt the sleep quality of the sufferers and their partners.
It can result in fatigue and daytime sleepiness.
It also causes unwelcomed effects, everything from school, and work to interpersonal relationships.
The effects of sleep deprivation also can lead to mood swings and depression.
They may share similarities, but the treatment is not the same.
If you’re a snorer, it doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea.
But snoring is the key symptom.
Snoring is a common symptom of men with sleep apnea but not for women.
Why do you or your partner snore at night:
- Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue to collapse towards your throat, causing a blockage to your airways.
- The incorrect positioning of your jaw creates muscle tension.
- You could not breathe through your nose due to the obstructions in the nasal passageway.
- The excess fat surrounding the throat blocks the airway.
- When the airway tissues are in close contact, they may cause vibrations.
- If you have a weak throat, your throat may collapse during sleep, creating a blockage to the airway.
- Taking drugs or alcohol can make your muscles more prone to relaxing in your throat.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea
- Feeling extremely sleepy during the day
- Poor concentration
- Fatigue (even you’ve slept for 8 hours)
- Waking up at night gasping or choking
- Morning headaches
- Restlessness at night
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common sleep disorder.
You can stop breathing from a few seconds to minutes. Then followed by choking, snorting, or gasping.
Loud, frequent snoring is one of the indicators of sleep apnea, a chronic condition characterized by pauses in breathing or shallow breaths during sleep. When people with sleep apnea fall asleep, they can stop breathing for 10 seconds or more, even up to a minute or more. Both conditions can be caused or made worse by obesity, large tongue and tonsils, aging, and head and neck shape.Source
Health Risks Of OSA
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats)
OSA sufferers usually move out of deep sleep into light sleep when their breathing pauses. It reduces their sleep quality.Source
OSA can trigger the release of stress hormones, change how your body uses energy, and make you feel tired and sleepy during the day.
Chronic fatigue and extreme sleepiness during the day are more indicative of sleep apnea than snoring.
People who snore are also much more likely to have thickening of their carotid artery, a condition called atherosclerosis. The thickening of these arteries can severely limit blood flow to the brain, weakening arterial walls and increasing the chances of an aneurysm or stroke.
Consult Your Doctor
Keeping track of your symptoms can help you communicate better with your doctor.
Write your daily symptoms in a journal.
When you have a medical appointment, take it with you.
With the information you provided, your doctor can decide whether a sleep study is necessary.
A sleep study can prevent inaccurate self-diagnosis, inadequate treatment, and/or premature dismissal of the problem.
If you snore without sleep apnea symptoms, try non-medical options such as a mandibular advancement device.
Side Effects of CPAP Machines
CPAP therapy can be helpful for most sleep apnea sufferers, but some experience difficulty using it.
Compliance is a big problem when it comes to CPAP treatment. Many users give up after only a few nights.
In other words, the CPAP machine only works when you wear the mask correctly.
Dry, stuffy nose
Make sure your mask fits well. Any air leakage can dry out your nose.
For a stuffy nose, choose a CPAP device with a heated humidifier. Adjust the level of humidification based on your needs.
Use a nasal saline spray at bedtime to relieve a dry, stuffy nose.
If you breathe through your mouth at night or sleep with your mouth open, some CPAP devices may worsen dry mouth.
A chin strap may help keep your mouth closed and reduce the air leak if you wear a nasal mask.
A full-face-mask-style device that covers your mouth and nose may work well for you. A CPAP-heated humidifier that attaches to the air pressure machine may help.
Best CPAP Machine
If you follow the instructions, CPAP therapy can significantly reduce breathing obstructions from sleep apnea.
Your quality of sleep will improve.
Use this table to decide which CPAP mask is best for you:
FAQ:CPAP For Snoring
Can you snore while wearing a CPAP?
You can avoid snoring while using a CPAP machine.
- Check your device air pressure. Too low? Call your sleep specialist. You might need another titration study.
- Are you sleeping on your back? If yes, it may prevent the continuous positive airway pressure from opening your airways. So, sleep on your side.
- Are you a mouth breather? If you’re using a nasal mask or sleep with your mouth open, it can be a problem. Switch to a full face mask.
How Can I Stop Snoring Without A CPAP?
Something that you can do in addition to wearing a CPAP mask is to strengthen the muscles around the airways by doing mouth exercises. When practiced for 30 minutes a day, these simple exercises—which involve chewing and swallowing motions as well as specific movements of the tongue—have been found to reduce the severity of sleep apnea, improve sleep, and ease snoring. Even playing instruments that strengthen the airways, such as the didgeridoo, has been found to treat sleep apnea.Source
Surgery is your last resort to treat sleep apnea symptoms.
Most doctors will take the most conservative approach before suggesting surgical intervention.
Things To Help You Stop Snoring
If snoring is the only problem and you think you don’t have sleep apnea, check out the following tips to help your situation.
- Lose weight.
- Reduce alcohol consumption. Avoid alcoholic beverages four hours before bedtime, as it can cause your throat to relax and collapse.
- Exercise daily to sleep better.
- Treat nasal congestion.
- Sleep on your side.
- Get enough rest to avoid floppier muscles when you’re too tired.
- Stay well hydrated to prevent sticky secretions from clogging your airways.
- Avoid sleeping pills, tranquilizers, or allergy medications (antihistamines) before you go to bed as they can relax your throat.
- Raise the head of your bed up four inches. Or elevate your head about four inches with pillows to keep the airways open.
- Stop smoking to benefit your throat.