ADHD: A Parenting Guide

CPAP Is Not The Only Solution For Sleep Apnea

If you've recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, you may assume you'll need to use a CPAP machine to keep your airway open at night. Indeed, many people with sleep apnea do benefit from CPAP machines. However, this is not the only treatment for sleep apnea. Long-term, you may want to consider one or more of the following treatments, all of which have the potential for improving your sleep apnea to the point that you no longer need a CPAP machine.

Weight Loss

Many, though not all, people with sleep apnea are overweight. The weight of excess body tissue on the lungs and airways makes it harder for people to breathe at night, and sometimes they just stop breathing. Losing weight can ease sleep apnea symptoms and sometimes do away with the condition completely. If you are overweight or obese, now is the time to make a change. Start moving your body more, and cut down on your daily calorie intake. If you struggle with willpower, look into medically supervised weight loss clinics where you can lose weight under the guidance of a physician. Not only can you get your sleep apnea under control, but you can also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other weight-related illnesses.

Orofacial Therapy

Sometimes, sleep apnea occurs due to weakness in certain muscles associated with your airway and breathing. When this is the case, working to strengthen those muscles can help give you relief from sleep apnea. Look for a physical therapist who specializes in orofacial therapy. Sometimes, speech pathologists offer this type of therapy, too. You'll be guided through exercises and given exercises to do at home. Over time, your lips, tongue, and airways will become stronger, and you may be able to breathe through the night without help.


Sometimes, sleep apnea is caused by oversized or swollen tonsils and adenoids. Consider making an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor, and have them check over your tonsils and adenoids. If these parts are swollen, having them removed may be a more permanent solution to your sleep apnea. Adenoid and tonsil removal surgeries are quite routine, and most patients heal from them without issues. You will likely find you can breathe through the night after this procedure.

CPAP machines work well for many sleep apnea patients, but they are not the only solution. Talk to your doctor about longer-term sleep apnea treatments like those listed above.