Is there anything I can do to help my sleep apnea?
Yes. The following steps help many people who have sleep apnea:
- Stop all use of alcohol or sleep medicines. These relax the muscles in the back of your throat, making it harder for you to breathe.
- If you smoke, quit smoking.
- If you are overweight, lose weight.
- Sleep on your side instead of on your back.
How is sleep apnea treated?
Certain dental devices can be used to treat mild cases of obstructive sleep apnea. These devices move your jaw forward to make breathing easier.
A common treatment for sleep apnea is called "continuous positive airway pressure," or CPAP. In this treatment, you wear a special mask over your nose and mouth while you are sleeping. The mask will keep your airway open by adding pressure to the air you breathe. It helps most people who have sleep apnea.
In very few cases, surgery is necessary to remove tonsils or extra tissue from the throat.
Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff