Positive Pressure devices (for example CPAP) are the most effective treatment. A trial of CPAP is recommended for almost all patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Even patients with mild sleep apnea can have significant symptom improvement with CPAP. Even in the absence of symptoms Obstructive Sleep Apnea is associated with several medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation, depression, obesity). Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack to 3 to 4 times normal.
Other options that can give partial improvement (improvement usually less than 50% for all options other than Positive Pressure Devices–even less improvement likely if apnea is mostly in REM sleep):
- Weight Loss
- Reducing alcohol before bedtime
- Sleeping on your side (avoiding your back) www.zzomasleep.com
- Dental appliances—from dental sleep specialists or trial appliances, e.g. www.puresleep.com (not recommended if Temporal Mandibular Joint problems = TMJ,)
- Chin straps—e.g. halo chin strap from www.breathewear.com
- Various surgical procedures