If you suffer from sleep apnea, you might wonder what exactly your treatment options are. For immediate relief from symptoms, your dentist at River Edge Dental will recommend oral appliance therapy, CPAP, or myofunctional therapy. But did you know simply losing weight can bring you the same relief? Although it’s harder, takes longer, and isn’t a guarantee, it’s possible that reaching a healthy weight will actually cure your sleep apnea. Curing your sleep apnea and losing weight can bring you many health benefits and reduce your risk of the serious health dangers of sleep apnea.

Closeup of a woman with a tape measure, checking her weight loss

How Excess Weight Causes Sleep Apnea

If you’re obese or overweight and suffer from sleep apnea, it’s likely your excess weight is one of the contributing factors. For some, it’s the only contributing factor. When you carry excess weight, you end up carrying excess weight around your neck. When fat accumulates in your neck, it can block or obstruct your airway when you lay down in a resting position.

Weight Loss to Cure Sleep Apnea

If your doctor tells you that you’re overweight or obese, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking of weight loss as your end goal to combat sleep apnea. By simply losing just 10% of your body fat, you can remove the excess fat on your neck that causes your airway to collapse at night and thus cure your sleep apnea.

If you’re trying to cure your sleep apnea with weight loss, we might advise you to use an oral appliance at night while working to lose weight. This way, you don’t have to suffer from sleep apnea symptoms while you focus on curing the condition altogether.

If you plan on losing weight to curing your sleep apnea, please note that you need to keep the weight off to eliminate sleep apnea from your life for good; otherwise, sleep apnea symptoms can present themselves soon after you gain the weight back.

Losing Weight for Sleep Apnea

If you need help losing weight to curing your sleep apnea, you should first start by creating a caloric deficit in your diet. This means that you burn more calories than you consume. Try to eat less sugar, processed foods, sugary drinks, and fast food, and instead drink more water and eat more fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. You can combine this with at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days per week for the best results.

We recommend losing at least 10% of your body fat to see if symptoms improve, otherwise, aim to get yourself in a healthy weight zone.

Although weight loss can cure sleep apnea, it’s still important to address your sleep apnea symptoms until you lose the weight indefinitely. Enjoy relief from sleep apnea symptoms like snoring when you visit River Edge Dental for sleep apnea treatment. Please call 201-546-8512 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.