If you have a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you’re most likely unsure about how to take care of them. It can be quite scary upon learning someone close to you is suffering from sleep apnea because it can lead to a variety of health issues such as chronic daytime tiredness, heart disease, and stroke. The last thing you’d want is to neglect your loved one who’s suffering from this sleep disorder. That’s why our professional staff here at Oxygen Always can help explain how to take better care for someone with this condition.
What is Sleep Apnea?
In order to properly care for a loved one with sleep apnea, you must first understand what it is. Sleep apnea is a critical sleep disorder which involves an obstruction that causes disruptions in the person’s breathing as they sleep. Without proper treatment from a healthcare professional, those diagnosed with sleep apnea stop breathing repeatedly throughout their sleep, even hundreds of times. Symptoms include loud snoring, morning headache, and gasping for air while sleeping.1
If your loved one has a few extra pounds, help them cope with their sleep apnea by encouraging them to lose weight. Most people who suffer from sleep apnea are either overweight or obese, so it may do your loved one some good to lose the extra pounds. You can motivate them to lose weight, only if they need to, by working out along with them. If needed, and of course with the recommendation of a healthcare professional, they can incorporate a portable oxygen concentrator into their workout like the SeQual Equinox, Respironics SimplyGo Mini or AirSep Focus.
No Alcohol or Smoking
By now, most people are aware of the unhealthy effects associated with drinking and smoking. However, partaking in such an unhealthy routine can exacerbate your loved one’s sleep apnea. Cigarette smoke tends to increase swelling of the upper airway, making it that much harder for your loved one to breathe while sleeping. As for alcohol, it relaxes the muscles in the back of the throat, which are necessary to facilitate air flow. So, take care to help them quit smoking if they already do and limit their alcohol intake as much as you can.
- Mayo Clinic – Sleep apnea