First — What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common yet often misdiagnosed condition that causes an individual to stop breathing due to a blockage in the airway. When this happens, your brain triggers a signal for your body to wake up, gasping for air.
This can happen multiple times a night, but most individuals have no memory of it occurring. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health consequences, if undiagnosed and left untreated. This may include cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, and more.
Sleep specialists like Dr. Salvatore S. Aragona provide various sleep apnea treatments, such as a CPAP machine and an oral appliance. It’s important to try different devices or lifestyle changes to determine which best works for your individual condition.
Interesting Reads for Sleep Apnea Sufferers
If you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea, here’s a list of five must-read books to help you get a better understanding of the condition and how to treat it.
1. Kicking the Bear Out of the Bedroom by Steve Wick
“Kicking the Bear Out of the Bedroom: Snoring & Sleep Apnea, the Not-So-Silent Killers” is a 5-star, reader’s favorite about excessive snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. It presents the serious health consequences of the two conditions, as well as effective treatment options.
Written in a talkative approach, Wick tells his personal story to demonstrate the realistic effects of sleep apnea and your health, as well as what you can do. He shares his struggles with a CPAP machine and the details of his improved health after using a custom-fitted oral device.
2. The Orthodontic Cure by Dr. Sheila Birth
“The Orthodontic Cure: How Orthodontics Can Restore You to Optimal Health, Stop Bed Wetting, Cure Migraines and Save Lives” is written by an orthodontist with a mission to help patients with chronic headaches, TMJ pain, sleep apnea, and more.
She explains the fundamental importance of orthodontics as a way to improve airways and breathing, which goes hand-in-hand with sleep apnea symptoms. This book is about simple non-surgical orthodontic solutions to improve the lives of countless patients.
3. Life After CPAP by McCamy Taylor
“Life After CPAP: A Physician’s Experience with Obstructive Sleep Apnea, the Most Commonly Missed Common Diagnosis in the U.S.” explains the hardships of understanding and treating sleep apnea, and the author’s challenges with her CPAP.
It’s a great read for sleep apnea sufferers who seek mutual awareness of the ins and outs of the disorder. It’s written for both physicians and patients, to get a better understanding of the human side of sleep apnea and to find a more effective method of treating it.
4. Sleep Well & Feel Great with CPAP by Jim Swearingen & Charles Barnes, PhD
“Sleep Well & Feel Great with CPAP, A Definitive Guide” is a must-read sourcebook of information and the ultimate handbook written for CPAP users. The authors guide you through the physical and mental effects of sleep apnea, and a set of instructions for your CPAP machine.
Thanks to extensive patient-first research, this book identifies the reasons behind unhappy CPAP users and what you can do to reap the benefits. Everyone’s experiences may vary, but this guide helps sufferers of sleep apnea get the best out of their CPAP.
5. Breathe, Sleep, Live, Smile by Drs. Lynn & Edmund Lipskis
“Breathe, Sleep, Live, Smile: Integrative Treatments for TMJ, Sleep Apnea, and Orthodontics” identifies and addresses the problems in the authors’ field of expertise. The book shines a light on the impact of getting to the root of your medical condition to eliminate the symptoms.
It discusses the relationships between TMJ, chronic pain, sleep apnea, and breathing issues — as well as integrative treatments, permanent solutions, and more. There’s a different solution and plan for every condition, as no two conditions are alike.
Bring Awareness to Sleep Apnea
Whether you or a loved one is suffering from sleep apnea, it’s important to grow a wide-ranging understanding of the condition to know how to best handle it. Plus, there are many different types of treatment alternatives.
Nashua, NH sleep specialist, Dr. Stephen C. Ura suggests practicing mouth and throat exercises while using CPAP or an oral device to reduce the long-term effects of sleep apnea. While Lake County, IL specialist Dr. Debora Klein recommends making additional lifestyle changes, like exercising regularly, avoiding alcohol, and using nasal decongestants.
Not every definition, symptom, or treatment works for each person — which is why it’s important to read up on different perspectives and plans that could work for your sleep apnea.