December 9, 2021
Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured?
Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes loud snoring, bad headaches, and insomnia. Serious complications of sleep apnea include type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Many people with this sleep disorder are curious about whether it can be cured so they can find relief from their symptoms.
“Being an individual with sleep apnea myself, I have realized the dangers that come with this condition,” says Dr. Cesar Torres, a family medicine physician with Healthcare Associates of Texas.
“Sleep apnea doesn’t have a singular cure that makes it go away overnight. But there are several things you can do to reduce your symptoms,” Dr. Torres says.
Not every case of sleep apnea can be cured. However, knowing how to reduce your symptoms may help you find relief. It also helps to know about all your available treatment options.
Keep reading to learn more about possible cures for sleep apnea, and how this sleep disorder can be effectively treated.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea with a Doctor’s Help
Doctors who treat sleep apnea will usually develop a customized treatment plan for you based on the severity of your symptoms.
“Losing weight, quitting smoking, and exercise can help for patients with mild sleep apnea,” Dr. Torres says.
If you have moderate to severe sleep apnea, your doctor will help you find a therapy or treatment that works best for you. If you have an underlying medical condition such as a heart disorder that is causing sleep apnea, your doctor may refer you to a specialist who can treat the underlying condition and possibly cure sleep apnea.
“CPAP is the most common treatment plan for sleep apnea,” Dr. Torres adds.
A continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine sends a steady flow of oxygen into your nose and mouth while you sleep. This air is delivered through a mask you wear while you sleep.
“The CPAP will keep your airways open so you can breathe normally and easier. Which will help you sleep more comfortably without interruptions,” Dr. Torres explains.
CPAP does not cure sleep apnea, though it is highly effective at reducing symptoms and helps people sleep better. CPAP is not a sleep apnea cure because it does not address the root, underlying causes of this sleep disorder.
Fortunately, advances in modern technology have resulted in newer CPAP devices that are far more comfortable and user-friendly than those used in the past. CPAP masks can be custom-made for the patient, and CPAP machines can often be programmed to turn on and off on their own.
Oral appliances can also be custom-made for patients who want an alternative to CPAP. Oral appliances keep your throat open so you can breathe more easily during sleep.
Surgery for sleep apnea is usually only performed when all other treatments have failed. Surgery can be performed in one of several ways, depending on what is causing sleep apnea.
Tissues from the back of the throat may be surgically removed or shrunk to reduce snoring. The jaw may be repositioned to open the airway, or a new airway in the throat may be created using a metal or plastic tube. Surgery may also be performed to remove enlarged tonsils that are blocking the airway.
Your doctor will discuss all potential risks associated with sleep apnea surgery and recommend the best treatment.
Can Sleep Apnea Be Cured Naturally?
Some people may be able to cure sleep apnea naturally, though natural treatments may not work for everyone.
“There isn’t a way to guarantee that your sleep apnea can be cured naturally. But certain lifestyle changes like losing weight, eating well, and exercise can help with symptoms,” says Dr. Torres.
In some instances, it can take several months or years to cure sleep apnea naturally. For example, a person whose sleep apnea is caused by obesity may not resolve sleep apnea until they lose all or most of their excess weight, which can take years.
Many patients find that their sleep apnea symptoms improve as they continue to lose weight. Weight loss can be achieved with good nutrition and regular exercise, though some people may need other interventions like weight-loss surgery to meet their goals.
Some patients who use CPAP do not like wearing masks while they sleep and want to learn how to naturally cure sleep apnea at home without CPAP. Sleep apnea cures without a CPAP may involve natural treatments or other medical treatments. Medical treatments for sleep apnea include oral appliances that keep the throat open and a variety of surgeries.
How to Treat Sleep Apnea Naturally
Before trying natural cures for sleep apnea, you should understand that some natural treatments may not work at all, or may not produce results for several months or years.
In addition to losing weight, diet, and exercise, here are tips on how to cure sleep apnea naturally:
- Stop using alcohol and sedatives, as these substances can cause the muscles at the back of the throat to relax
- Stop smoking, as smoking can cause inflammation in the airway and damage airway muscles
- Avoid sleeping on your back, which can cause your tongue and palate to relax and block the airway
- Use a humidifier, which adds moisture to the air to open your airway and help you breathe more easily
At Healthcare Associates of Texas, we understand how sleep apnea can make you feel less than your best. Our doctors will work with you one on one to find ways to treat your sleep apnea and ensure you receive a proper diagnosis and the highest quality personalized care and treatment. Schedule an appointment or call us today by visiting our <a href=”https://healthcareassociates.com/appointments/>appointments page.</a>