The Snoring Solution That Beats Cpap
Snoring has come a long way, from being a minor sleep discomfort for both the snorer and the people sharing the same room with him/her (if any) to being a serious indication of complicated health issues that damages the whole body in the long run, such as sleep apnea. And because of these factors, the experts in the medical field are able to provide solutions that can help the sufferers to mitigate their situation and may even be able to help them completely recover from the health issue.
There are a lot of remedies recommended by the sleep experts that comes in a variety of forms, from solutions that can be used for short-term snoring like nasal sprays or neti pots, to complex machines like CPAP, or even long-term solutions that may completely eradicate the snoring, like change of lifestyle. But due to the modern lifestyle being in an ‘instant’ pace, where everything should consume minimal amount of time, machines are used to do almost all the work for us.
With that being said, the alternative often opted by snoring sufferers is the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine, or CPAP.
What is the CPAP Machine?
The Continuous Positive Airway Machine (CPAP) is the device used to pump air pressure into the airways of the body, thereby clearing the pathways of air resulting to better breathing during sleep. This also in turn completely eradicates the snoring caused by blocked airways. It is a nonsurgical treatment and its treatment is provided through a mask, either nasal or facial. It is important to remember that the treatment is given under the recommendation of a physician or an otolaryngologist since he/she will be able to customize the features of the machine, depending on the condition of the patient.
How does the CPAP work?
There are three main parts of the machine: the motor, hose, and mask.
The motor is a small compressor that absorbs air (in room temperature), pressurizes it, and delivers it to the patient. The air is pressurized according to the patient’s needed amount to remove the obstruction. The hose is basically where the pressurized air pass through to the mask, and the mask is what enables the patient to breathe the pressurized air.
The machine has its own cleaning mechanisms. CPAP machines with the latest design have humidifiers in the hose as to avoid accumulation of the water.
Setting up your own CPAP
As mentioned earlier, the use of the machine is only upon the recommendation of an otolaryngologist. There are two tests made before a patient is able to use the machine in the comfort of his/her own home, an evaluation is given prior to these tests, similar to the sample below:
- Has your snoring become an inconvenience to the people you share the same room/home with?
- Do you wake up frequently during the night because of obstructed breathing?
- Do you experience the following symptoms: daytime fatigue and drowsiness and headaches due to the lack of sleep?
If most of the symptoms are experienced, the physician then advises you to undergo the said treatment.
Both tests require the patient to stay overnight in the clinic. Both are also conducted while they are asleep. The first test is conducted for diagnosis, i.e., what is obstructing the pathways, certain conditions that affect such, etc. while the second test is for customizing the machine in order to deliver the needed pressure, the size and form of the mask, depending on how it would be convenient for the patient.
The succeeding process requires having an appointment with a durable medical equipment (DME) specialist to set-up the kit and provide instructions and information about the machine.
What are the advantages of using the CPAP?
Aside from the convenience brought by the machine, the CPAP is considered to be a ‘therapy’ for patients suffering from sleep apnea – meaning, with continued use, there is a higher chance for patients to completely recover from the illness. The CPAP is a solution for sleep apnea encapsulated in one machine and fulfils its purpose to the patient even on the first use. The symptoms brought by sleep apnea is reported to have been minimized such as comfortableness felt during sleep which results to a daytime alertness and decrease in daytime drowsiness.
What are the disadvantages of CPAP?
Most patients report to suffer from dry nose, mouth, and throat after using the machine. CPAP machines are also not travel friendly, thereby considered cumbersome especially for patients who do a lot of traveling.
However, as mentioned earlier, modern designs have now addresses these problems, with most machines having built-in humidifiers.
What if the CPAP does not work for you?
When getting the best treatment, it is important to maintain healthy skepticism. If a patient does not get the desired results from the CPAP or he/she cannot afford one, there are other available options to mitigate snoring and sleep apnea. An important note to keep in mind is that if the snoring gets worse, consult with a physician immediately.
Here are some other treatments that are proven to minimize the snoring and may even help in the complete recovery of the patient in the long run:
- Natural remedies may work wonders for you.
As absurd as it may sound, essential oils and certain types of spices may help with the snoring – most can be found within your own kitchen pantry! The best options to go for are essential oils or spices that are inflammatory.
The go-to for most people suffering from sleep disorders is lavender. But instead of applying topically onto the skin, you can dilute the oil in warm, steamy water and bathe in it or place it before your face to provide that ‘facial steam’ thereby relaxing your muscles. Peppermint oil and chamomile oil can be used to, as they contain anti-inflammatory properties. Apply it topically, preferably through a massage on the neck and back to ease tension on these areas of the body.
Spices that are said to help with the snoring are garlic, cinnamon, and turmeric, which all share the same property with the oils as well. Consume garlic in raw, crush it before consuming. You can mix turmeric with milk, as milk also contains an amino acid called ‘tryptophan’ which also encourages sleep. Cinnamon can be consumed as tea.
Few other options include an Epsom salt bath, since Epsom salt also has healing properties as well. Almonds and honey are also some of the options. Almonds contain magnesium which help with muscle relaxation, while honey contains anti-inflammatory properties.
- Throat exercises
This type of exercise is said to strengthen muscles around the throat which the soft tissue that blocks the airways is located. Some of these exercises are:
- Reciting the alphabet out loud with complete exaggeration. Make sure that the throat muscles are being exercised as well. This is advised to be perform twice or thrice a day.
- Grab some clean new balloons and blow air inside. Make sure that you inhale the air from your nose, and exhale through the mouth. Try not to remove the balloon from your mouth and go on as long as you can, or until the balloon has reached its maximum elasticity but not until it pops. Blow as much as 4 balloons per day.
Just like exercises for the body, it is important that the patient must be consistent in performing to achieve optimal results. The advisable period is 10 minutes of repetitions for at least three months. This method doesn’t not completely fix sleep apnea but helps in controlling its severity – one more reason to not opt for CPAP.
- Consult with a chiropractor
Sleep apnea may be due to the compresses nerves that are the results from misalignment in the spine. Sufferers of sleep apnea have their heads more forward than the normal alignment, thereby experiencing pressure in the neck and throat. A chiropractor can help with this problem by providing exercises and physical therapy that targets the said issues.
- Oral appliances (OA’s)
Depending on its severity, sufferers from sleep apnea can be relieved by using oral appliances that are usually in a form of mouth guards. They work by moving the lower jaw therefore expanding the passageways for air to pass through. Most of them are adjustable and are made from silicone or plastic. When opting for this alternative, a sleep apnea dentist is the best expert to cater your needs.
- Lifestyle changes, i.e., weight loss.
The obstruction in the airway are loose soft tissue in the throat that collapse when lying flat on a surface. Excess weight is a major factor on this due to the excess fat stored in the body of an overweight or obese person. By losing weight, fat cells shrink and minimize the presence of the loose tissue.
Although this solution does not guarantee results overnight and in fact require commitment, patience, and discipline, the best thing about this is that it does not only help relieve sleep apnea sufferers from the sleep disease, it also provides numerous health benefits as well.
- Oral surgery
This alternative may require more dough than most alternatives (including CPAP) but it provides an almost instant and (really) long-term results. There are different procedures for different areas of concern regarding the causes of obstructed airways, like a Pillar Procedure, EPAP Valve, Positional Therapy, among others.
Remember that when finding for the right solution, it is best to have an open mind and long patience. One solution may work for others but not for you and vice versa. Keep in mind that when finding for solutions, it is best to keep up a positive attitude, as this can always, above all, make everything less worse.