Can Weight Loss Eliminate Sleep Apnoea?

Does your snoring drive your partner crazy? Have you been diagnosed with sleep apnoea, or suspect you may have it? You might be thinking that you can’t avoid one of those awkward-looking sleep masks, but there might be another option. For starters, not everyone who snores has sleep apnoea, which causes you to stop breathing for brief periods during sleep. Sleep apnoea is a leading cause of daytime fatigue and is also linked to numerous health problems, including high blood pressure, weight problems, and poor concentration.

However, even those who do have sleep apnoea have treatment options of which they might not be aware. Surgery is a last resort, and even the dreaded mask might not be necessary. For many people, the most effective treatment is obvious and simple: lose weight. Losing weight removes fat that blocks the windpipe, resulting in better sleep, and it also helps in many other ways, such as lowering your cholesterol, reducing joint pain, and making you feel better as you go about your daily life.

If you have reached a healthy weight and still have symptoms of sleep apnoea, then the number two treatment of choice is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure). This treatment involves using a pump that delivers pressurised air into your nose to keep your airway open. It is very effective; however, some find the tight-fitting mask uncomfortable, making sleep difficult. Many people give up their CPAP treatments because of this. Today’s CPAP, though, is more comfortable than it used to be, with quieter machines and warm, moist air, which keeps the inside of your nose from drying out.

If you just can’t deal with the mask, there is another option, in the form of a mandibular advancement device. This device moves your lower jaw forward, which creates more space in the back of your throat. However, CPAP is a better option because it corrects more abnormalities and tends to be more effective.

The takeaway of all this should be that although there are devices that can keep your airway open at night, the simplest, cheapest, and often most effective treatment is weight loss. If you think you have sleep apnoea and you are overweight, speak with your doctor about the right weight loss plan for you as a treatment for your sleep issues. Weight loss will not only help you sleep better but improve your overall health in many ways as well.

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