Sleep apnea is a difficult medical condition to manage, but following certain preplanned things helps to manage it successfully.
Living with sleep apnea
- Obstructive sleep apnea can be very serious, still following an effective treatment plan can improve the quality of life.
- Treatment can improve the sleep quality and relieve daytime tiredness. It also may reduce the chances to develop high blood pressure, heart disease, and other health conditions linked to sleeping apnea.
- Continuous health care needs – keep visiting doctor regularly to make sure the treatment is working. Tell him/her, if there is any treatment side effect that cannot handle.
The consistent care is especially important if getting continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment. It may take some time to get to adjust to using CPAP. Discuss with the doctor, how comfortable is the CPAP machine or whether it produces the expecting result or producing certain unwanted side effects? Based on this discussion doctor may advise to switch to a different device or mask or treatment to relieve side effects.
Weight gain can worsen sleep apnea and require some adjustments to CPAP device. In contrast, weight loss may relieve sleep apnea symptoms.
It is better to avoid driving or operating heavy machinery while sleepy. If have any surgery that requires medication to put on sleep, tell the surgeon and doctors that you are a sleep apnea patient. They might take some extra steps to make sure the airway stays open during the surgery.
Sleep apnea patient needs family support
Mostly, patient with sleep apnea do not know they have it. In addition, they are not aware that their breathing stops and starts many times while sleeping. Family members or bed partners are the first who noticed the signs of sleep apnea.
- Encourage and provide moral support to the patient to get medical help.
- Help the patient to follow the treatment plan, including CPAP.
- Provide emotional support.