If you suffer from sleep apnea, there may be a number of physical factors that make this condition more challenging. Being overweight, for example, can exacerbate your sleep apnea symptoms. Another factor that may be present in your life is nasal congestion. While you can blow your nose during the day, your sinuses can fill up at night and affect your ability to breathe. When you visit a sleep apnea specialist, they will suggest one or more methods of treating this condition—for example, using a mouthpiece or a CPAP machine. The specialist will also encourage you to attempt to reduce your nasal congestion, which can help with your sleep quality. Here are some methods that you can try.
Change Your Diet
One good way that you can reduce the amount of nasal congestion that you experience is to change your diet. There are a number of foods that are known to increase congestion. When you learn about these foods, you may quickly realize that you consume many of them in your daily diet. Dairy products, sugars, and alcohol can all create nasal congestion that makes your sleep apnea more challenging to manage. Reducing your consumption of these products or eliminating them altogether can help you to feel less congested at night.
Elevate Your Head
Elevating your head can also help to alleviate some of your nighttime nasal congestion. There are several pillow-related changes that you can consider making. A simple option is to buy a thicker pillow if your current pillow is very thin. Alternatively, you might consider folding a thin pillow in half or adding a second thin pillow onto your existing pillow. When your head is elevated, your nasal cavity will be less congested and you'll find that it's easier to breathe.
Use A Nasal Strip
You may also wish to experiment with using a nasal strip at night. You can buy these strips at any pharmacy. They have an adhesive that makes them stick to your skin. When you place the nasal strip across your nose, it will gently open up your nasal passages. You'll be able to breathe much more easily and feel less congested. If you snore, which is a common symptom of sleep apnea, wearing a nasal strip may reduce your snoring. Learn more about your sleep apnea symptoms by visiting a professional such as Upstate Sleep Solutions, making sure to ask about other methods that you can use to reduce your nasal congestion.