Tip to assist treatment of Nasal Congestion, Sinusitis, gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), Glaucoma (and many more diseases in which the symptoms aggravate at night) is BED HEAD ELEVATION bringing the patient in a Semi-Upright Position during sleeping hours.
- In Nasal Congestion, keeping your head elevated may make breathing more comfortable.
- Similarly in Sinusitis(acute or chronic), headache is relieved not only at night but also during the daytime, if the patient sleeps keeping the head up using multiple pillows or raising the head of the bed.
- As many as one in four Americans may suffer heartburn at night, according to a study published in 2005 in the journal CHEST. The figure is even higher among people who say they suffer chronic heartburn, or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Raising the head of the bed by 4 to 6 inches, so you can sleep with your head and chest elevated can be very useful in tackling this problem. You can lift the top end of the bed by sticking blocks underneath. You could also lie on special wedge pillows designed to help you sleep on an incline.
- Elevated intra-ocular pressure (IOP) has been shown to influence the development of glaucomatous optic neuropathy. In addition to elevated IOP, factors such as ocular blood flow, racial factors,refractive errors, genetic factors, and low cerebrospinal fluid pressure have been associated with the glaucoma pathogenesis. However, IOP is the only modifiable risk factor; IOP lowering is the only proven therapy to prevent or slow down the development or progression of glaucoma. Body posture is one of the factors influencing the fluctuation of IOP. Compared with the upright posture;IOP has been shown to increase in the horizontal postures (supine, prone, or lateral decubitus in healthy and glaucomatous eyes. Such posture-induced IOP rise has been associated with progression of glaucomatous damage. Some researchers studied the effect of sleeping in a head-up position using a wedge pillow in glaucoma patients and healthy subjects, and they demonstrated reduction of mean IOP by 1.5–3.2 mm Hg in the head-up position compared with the flat position.However, keeping the head up can be achieved by other methods such as using multiple pillows or raising the head of the bed.
There are many other diseases like migraine, head trauma,mumps, pneumonia, cardiac asthma etc in which this position is quite handy in improving patients’ health.
So the next time you find yourself up at night due to any of these reasons, you know what to do.