If you've been diagnosed with sleep apnea by your doctor, it's not something that you should ignore. Sleep apnea can be quite dangerous, and not taking steps to treat it is a bad idea. However, even if you do what you should, handling your sleep apnea when you spend time in the great outdoors can be tough. Here's why you still need to care for yourself and the easiest way to do it.
What Sleep Apnea Does
Sleep apnea literally closes off your airway while you're sleeping. A flap of tissue in your throat seals off the passage that your oxygen flows through, making it impossible for you to inhale while you're asleep. After a while, most people with sleep apnea will regain consciousness just long enough to gasp for breath, which clears the tissue out of the way, and then they fall asleep again. Unfortunately, as soon as you're asleep and your throat relaxes, the problem repeats itself. Obviously, going without air for a prolonged period of time can be quite dangerous. Sleep apnea can trigger brain damage without treatment, so if you want to spend time outside and think you can leave your CPAP behind safely, think again.
Why It's Especially Important Outdoors
When you're sleeping outdoors without easy enough access to electricity to use your CPAP, chances are you're fairly far from civilization. Unfortunately, this puts you at even greater risk. If your airway is lost and you experience a health emergency due to it, whether due to a brain problem or a cardiovascular one, you'll be farther away from medical services. With the distance and time it would take to get to a hospital or doctor, your life could potentially be at risk.
What To Do
Some people lug around generators in order to use their CPAP machines in the great outdoors, but it can be difficult, heavy, and costly to do so. Instead, consider talking to your dentist for an alternative form of treatment. Dentists can make simple oral tools that help to hold open your airway while you're asleep. These sleep apnea tools are like a small retainer. They hold your lower jaw forward a small amount, which keeps your airway from collapsing inwards. In doing so, you can ensure that you have a clear breathing passage all night long without the need for electricity.
Do what you should to protect yourself and always have sleep apnea protection no matter where you sleep. Talk to a dentist office like Jerry C Hu DDS Family Dentistry LLC and make an appointment to have one made for you.