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18 Sep 2013

Treatment Options for Sleep Apnea

This is Part 3 in a blog post series on sleep apnea. Read Part 1 and Part 2.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, then it helps to know what treatments are available. There is a range of treatment options starting from behaviour modifications to surgery.

Lifestyle changes

Some risk factors can be changed so you no longer belong to that risk group. Cessation of smoking and limiting alcohol consumption at bedtime can improve sleep apnea. Also avoid sleeping pills which reduce the muscle tone of the upper airway.

Sleep apnea is worse when sleeping on your back. At least in milder form of sleep apnea, side sleeping helps reduce snoring and apneas, by helping to keep the airway open.

Weight loss

Two thirds of those who have sleep apnea are obese. Losing weight helps reduce snoring and progression into severe sleep apnea.

Nasal decongestants

This is helpful in mild cases of OSA to relieve an obstruction in the nasal cavity.

Oral appliances

There is a wide range of devices that are marketed as sleep apnea treatment. They move the lower jaw forward. Even a little change can help keep the airway open. These oral appliances are helpful in mild to moderate sleep apnea.


Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP keeps the airway open by continously blowing an air stream into your upper airway. CPAP is given via a mask applied to the nose or cover both nose and mouth. CPAP is recommended for moderate to severe sleep apnea.


Surgery is aimed at correcting the airway obstruction. Since airway obstruction can occur at multiple sites, it is not easy to determine which part needs surgical correction. The commonest type of surgery is uvulopalatopharyngoplasty or UPPP. It has a success rate of 50 percent.

Alternative methods

Playing the Aboriginal musical instrument, didgeridoo has been found to improve sleep apnea. Didgeridoo playing may help improve the muscle tone of the upper airway so that it resists collapsing while sleeping.

This is Part 3 in a series of blog posts on sleep apnea.
Read Part 1 - What is sleep apnea?
         Part 2 - Obstructive sleep apnea


  1. Hi
    Nice blog i have read your post " it is very informative you share such a helpful information about sleep apnea treatments .........
    keep posting such post
    wel done

  2. Hey
    Nice blog I Absolutely agree with your awesome information there are different types of treatments for snoring, but none are as normal or easy .
    Thank you for sharing with us

  3. Sleep Apnoea is a serious subject. I am curious about the snoring. If you struggle with poor concentration, Headaches, fogginess and forgetfulness, Heavy day-time sleepiness, Reduced sex drive and Irritability and susceptibility to depression then make sure to read more about why you are snoring in the first place and how you are dentist can help.


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