Does Sleep Apnea Go Away? Answered by a Sleep Doctor

dr. andy ciecielskiIf you are wondering if sleep apnea goes away without treatment, this article is for you. With the help of Dr. Andy Ciesielski of Lane and Associates dentistry, we will be looking at some of the most common ways that sleep apnea is treated and whether or not you can naturally get rid of sleep apnea. 

Does Sleep Apnea Go Away with Weight Loss?

Sleep apnea does in fact have some correlation with weight gain and weight loss. Many patients are curious whether or not losing weight can improve their breathing during the night, and the answer is yes. If you lose a significant amount of weight, there is a possibility that your condition will improve with this lifestyle change.

That being said, not every case of sleep apnea is related to the weight of the patient. Somebody who has an average weight or even someone who is underweight can still suffer from sleep apnea. Many times, sleep apnea is caused by an anatomical obstruction of the airway.

“Typically one of the only ways that sleep apnea is naturally cured is through extreme weight loss. Weight loss improves sleep apnea in many cases and can also resolve the condition in some instances.” – Dr. C

Does Sleep Apnea Go Away After Getting Tonsils Removed?

Dr. C confirms that having your tonsils removed can in fact improve your sleep apnea condition. This is a method of treating sleep apnea mostly for children, but it can also be effective in adults.

With CPAP being the most popular form of sleep apnea treatment, most patients with the condition will opt into the machine. However, if a child is suffering from sleep apnea, Dr. C tells us that CPAP is not a recommended treatment for them. This is because children are still in the growth phase of life and wearing the CPAP mask all night can potentially alter their growth pattern.

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are done to remove both tonsils and adenoids primarily in children. This procedure can potentially improve sleep apnea in children.

Does it Go Away After Pregnancy?

Some women are susceptible to developing sleep apnea because of pregnancy. Although this is not a common occurrence, it can still happen. Dr. C tells us that sleep apnea due to pregnancy will most likely subside after the pregnancy is over. This is assuming that pre-pregnancy weight is achieved once again. 

Because sleep apnea and weight gain are connected, women who gain weight during pregnancy are more susceptible to developing sleep apnea. If a woman continues to gain weight after experiencing sleep apnea during pregnancy, the condition may remain.

How to Cure Sleep Apnea?

The number one solution to sleep apnea is CPAP therapy. CPAP stands for Continuous positive airway pressure. This method of treating sleep apnea involves putting on a mask during sleep hours that keeps your airway unobstructed. The constant and steady air pressure prevents your airway from being blocked which causes apneic events.

Other common treatments for sleep apnea also include surgery and oral appliances. Oral appliances are dental devices that can bring your jaw forward allowing for your airway to be unobstructed.

“Some surgeries that treat apnea include procedures that remove anything obstructing the patient’s airway. This can include removing parts of things like the tongue, tonsils, or oropharynx.” – Dr. C

How Long Does It Take To Treat Sleep Apnea?

Because there are several different ways that sleep apnea can be treated, each has a different timeframe for how long the condition takes to improve.

Surgical Procedure – a surgical procedure can take several weeks or months to fully heal and allow the inflammation to go down. Because of this, the time to cure sleep apnea through surgery can be around 1-3 months.

Weight Loss – As mentioned before, weight loss can have a direct impact on the severity of sleep apnea. Losing enough weight can potentially cure you of the condition. This means that the time to cure sleep apnea through weight loss is tied to just how fast you lose it.

CPAP – Getting a CPAP machine can be one of the fastest ways to cure sleep apnea. Because the machine is essentially helping you breathe, you will be able to sleep through the night without an apneic event when you first start using it.

Treating Sleep Apnea with an Oral Appliance

If you are looking for an alternative method to treat sleep apnea, consider trying an oral appliance. CPAP machines can be irritating, noisy, and difficult to wear at night. Something as small as our sleep apnea dental device can have you sleeping better without having to wear a mask all night. Please contact Lane and Associates via the form below if you would like to learn more about how to obtain an oral appliance for sleep apnea.