Does Sleep Apnea Ever Go Away on Its Own?

April 17, 2023
Woman in bed, covering her eyes

Some people are eager to seek professional care as soon as they feel unwell, whereas others take a “wait and see” approach, hoping that their condition will resolve on its own. Are you in the latter category? If so, and if you are struggling with poor-quality rest, you might be wondering if sleep apnea ever goes away on its own. This blog post provides helpful information on that important topic.

Sleep Apnea Usually Does Not Resolve By Itself

Unfortunately, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is not like the common cold; it needs more than a bit of time and rest to resolve. That is because OSA is often caused by anatomical issues, such as excess fat around the neck, a deviated septum, enlarged tonsils, or other abnormalities that tend to endure for the long term.

The only time sleep apnea might go away on its own is if it is caused by a temporary problem. For example, you might experience some pauses in breathing during the night if you have allergies or a sinus infection. When your exposure to allergens ends, or when your infection clears up, the quality of your sleep should improve accordingly.

Managing Sleep Apnea

Some people have found that lifestyle changes can reduce or even eliminate symptoms of mild OSA. Here are some things you can do that may improve the quality of your sleep:

  • Lose weight. Obese individuals who lose as little as 10% of their overall weight may notice a large improvement in the quality of their sleep.
  • Exercise regularly. Even without a reduction in weight, regular exercise has been shown to improve nighttime breathing.
  • Cut back on alcohol and caffeine. Both of these substances can worsen apnea symptoms, particularly if they are consumed too close to bedtime.
  • Do not smoke. Smoke irritates the airway and can make it difficult to breathe easily during sleep.
  • Sleep on your side. This can prevent gravity from causing the tissues in your throat to collapse and block your airway.

Seek Professional Care

Lifestyle changes are highly beneficial, but they are not a substitute for professional care. A qualified physician can assess the severity of your sleep apnea, and periodic testing can monitor how your condition changes over time. Plus, a doctor can prescribe a device, such as a custom oral appliance, that will improve your breathing and virtually eliminate your symptoms.

The importance of seeing a professional for OSA cannot be overstated. Sadly, many people have passed away from complications of this disorder because they did not realize they had it or because they minimized its seriousness.

Sleep apnea usually does not go away on its own. Fortunately, it is highly treatable!

Meet the Practice

Dr. Kenneth Mogell has many years of experience in helping patients address obstructive sleep apnea via oral appliance therapy. If you are concerned about the quality of your sleep, he and our team would be happy to consult with you. Contact any of our offices or call our Vero Beach location at 772-882-6800.