What options do I have at home to immediately battle my snoring and sleep apnea??
Assuming that you have gone for your sleep test and been diagnosed with sleep apnea there are a few things you can do right away on your own and then a number of solutions that the medical and dental communities can provide for you, which I will discuss in a future answer:
1. Start sleeping on your side and if that doesn't completely work, on your stomach with your head to the side of the pillow so that you can let your jaw hang forward. This is similar to what is done for CPR when you are instructed to pull the victim's jaw forward because it opens the airway. In the beginning you will need to have your bed partner continually reminding you (once or twice a night until they go sleep in the other room) b/c if you are snoring badly it is probably on your back.
Your chiropractor, osteopath and physical therapist will all tell you it is bad for your back and neck to sleep on your stomach and this is true (put your head to the left and to the right side of the pillow equally during the night, if possible.) However, sleep apnea is a life threatening condition so until you get a permanent solution you have to decide personally if you want to at least lessen its occurrence.
2. Lose weight. The reason we snore and get sleep apnea is because as we get heavier our membranes get thicker also. When the walls of the pharynx get thicker they more easily touch when you are asleep and totally relaxed. When this happens the air is cut off just like when the walls of a straw are crushed together.
Losing enough weight can have profound effects on your snoring and sleep apnea so you should seriously consider this even as you pursue approved medical and dental treatments.
Unless you are a patient of Dr. Landin's and have seen him very recently, this should not be construed as dental advice but only as information. Please consult your own dentist in regard to your personal situation or condition.
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