In a word, yes: provided you take the proper steps to help the situation. This will include both lifestyle changes as well as external solutions such as oral appliances in order to repair. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be “cured” of sleep apnea, as it’s a chronic condition that is a result of anatomy and won’t typically go away on its own.
That being said, if you commit to sleep apnea treatment, you can be successful in drastically reducing the symptoms of this condition, whether through weight loss, oral appliance therapy, jaw surgery or allergy treatment. Often times, it takes a combination of many factors in order for sleep apnea to go away.
If you suffer from sleep apnea and don’t know where to turn, look no further than the Sleep Apnea Center of Michigan for help. We are specialists in sleep disorder treatment in Michigan.
What Can I Do?
There are things you can do to help the process along, the first and foremost being to lose weight if you are overweight or obese. There is a link between excess weight and sleep apnea. Overweight people are more likely to have extra tissue in the back of their throat, which can obstruct the flow of air into the lungs while sleeping.
Losing weight makes both sleep apnea and other health problems, such as heart disease, go away. In fact, losing just 10 percent of body weight can have a huge impact on sleep apnea symptoms; even curing the condition in some cases of significant weight loss, according to Harvard Medical School.
In addition, a study by the American Thoracic Society on ScienceDaily found that for those who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, losing weight is the single best way to reduce symptoms and associated sleep disorders.
Changing your risk factors for sleep apnea starts with weight loss, but there are other things you can do, such as:
- Sleep on your side and not your back.
- Get treated for allergies.
- Try some circular breathing techniques or tongue strengthening exercises, referred to as myofunctional therapy.
- Raise the head of the bed to 30 to 45 degrees; prop it up on books or blocks to achieve the angle you need.
- Avoid alcohol, especially near bedtime.
Of course there is always surgery to consider, but this should only be done as a last resort. You could also get fitted for a CPAP machine, which provides a constant flow of air at night, keeping the airway open and preventing its collapse.
But many people are averse to CPAP because it’s clunky and invasive. In that case, there’s another solution: a customized oral appliance. It’s worn only during sleep and fits like a mouth guard you would wear for sports. Research shows that oral appliance therapy is an effective option for treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea.