Can You Cure Yourself of Sleep Apnea?

Ask a Doctor

I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and I have tried everything. The CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine I was prescribed after a sleep study works, but I have trouble sleeping with it on. Is there anything I can do? Can you cure yourself of sleep apnea?

Doctor’s Response

Appropriate treatment of sleep apnea is essential when the diagnosis is made in order to treat the symptoms, but more importantly, to prevent the significant co-morbid conditions associated with untreated sleep apnea.

That being said, there are things you can do on your own that can improve the symptoms of your sleep apnea.

An important part of the treatment for sleep apnea may include behavioral modifications and lifestyle changes.

Many individuals with sleep apnea may have fewer episodes of apnea if they sleep in certain positions. Most commonly, lying on the back can induce more episodes; therefore, sleeping on the side may be a simple step to improve sleep.

Other behavioral modifications may include improvement of the bedroom setting to induce sleep, good sleep hygiene, avoiding eating or exercising prior to sleep, and using the bedroom only for sleeping. Excessive alcohol intake, smoking, and other drug use should be avoided. Complying with the treatment of other diseases is also essential to the adequate therapy for sleep apnea.

Obesity and weight gain are major contributing factors to obstructive sleep apnea. In some reports, weight loss has shown to be an important step in the treatment of sleep apnea.

Reviewed on 8/3/2018
Sources: References

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