Healthy lifestyle habits that can help prevent obstructive sleep apnea

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It happens when the throat muscles intermittently relax and block the airways during sleep. A noticeable sign of obstructive sleep apnea is snoring.

Can it be deadly?

“Obstructive sleep apnea is closely linked to different life-threatening conditions. It can cause or worsen chronic diseases such as high blood pressure. OSA can also lead to sudden cardiac death.

Although a person with sleep apnea does not necessarily die while sleeping, the risk of death increases significantly if the condition is not treated.

People who accumulate fat in the neck, tongue and upper stomach are particularly vulnerable to sleep apnea.

This weight reduces the diameter of the throat and pushes against the lungs, contributing to airway collapse during sleep,” said Dr. HP Bharathi, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Jindal Naturecure Institute.

Precautions and treatment

In some cases, sleep apnea can be managed with lifestyle changes.

Exercise and good nutrition: It is important to fill the plate with heart-healthy options such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains and to get plenty of exercise.

Sleep apnea can be managed with lifestyle changes. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Adopting these healthy habits can help people maintain a healthy weight, which is important because obesity can increase the risk of sleep apnea.

Avoid tobacco and alcohol: Smoking and alcohol can increase upper airway inflammation and reduce function.

Don’t sleep on your back: Sleeping on your back can increase the likelihood of the tongue and soft palate falling back into the airway, causing airway obstruction, snoring and sleep apnea.

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP): A CPAP machine happens to be the most common treatment, which is a device that can be used at home.

It gently forces pressurized air through a mask worn over the nose and mouth (or just the nose) into your airways to keep them open while a person sleeps at night. If breathing devices don’t work, a doctor may also suggest an oral appliance.

Is it neglected and neglected?

Because the main symptoms of sleep apnea – the pauses in breathing and gasping and snoring that can accompany them – occur during sleep, many people with sleep apnea may not even realize it.

OSA can adversely affect the body and lead to a number of negative physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

It is a great public challenge. OSA can adversely affect the body and lead to a number of negative physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral effects.

Since sleep apnea prevents people from getting normal, restful sleep, it can lead to problems such as:

Daytime sleepiness and fatigue
Attention problems
Inability to concentrate
Memory issues
Irritability
Depression

Such complaints are ignored assuming it is a manifestation of poor sleep hygiene rather than the real culprit being OSA.

Healthy lifestyle to adopt to avoid OSAS

Losing weight
Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea. A person can reduce the number of apnea episodes they have each night by maintaining a healthy weight.

Stop using alcohol and sedative drugs
Alcohol and sedatives are nervous system depressants. They cause problems with the way the brain works. They also increase the frequency and number of sleep apnea episodes that occur each night.

Smoking and alcohol can increase upper airway inflammation and reduce function. (Source: pixabay)

Stop smoking
Nicotine can make sleep apnea worse.

Exercise
Exercise can help improve sleep apnea even without weight loss. A person should speak to their doctor before starting any program.

Sleep on your side
Apnea is often worse when a person sleeps on their back or on their stomach. Sleeping on your side can help keep your airways open.

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