Other treatment choices for obstructive (OSA) include:
- Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). You use a breathing device that prevents your airway from closing during sleep. It is the preferred treatment for sleep apnea. Some CPAP devices automatically adjust air pressure or use different air pressures when you breathe in or out. They are easier and more comfortable for some people to use.
- Oral breathing devices. These reposition your tongue and jaw during sleep, which opens up your airways. They may not work as well as CPAP.
What to think about
Research shows that continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) decreases daytime sleepiness, especially in people who have moderate to severe sleep apnea.1, 9 But CPAP may not work as well for people who have mild sleep apnea.9
If you use CPAP to treat sleep apnea, you need to use it every night. If you do not use it, your symptoms will return right away.
It may take time for you to be at ease when you use CPAP. You may find that you want to take off the mask, or you may find it difficult to sleep while using it. If you cannot get used to it, talk to your doctor. You might be able to try another type of mask or make other adjustments.
Nasal strips to decrease snoring are available in most pharmacies. Nasal strips widen the nostrils and improve airflow. Although these strips may decrease snoring, they cannot treat sleep apnea.
If you are overweight and have sleep apnea, think about getting nutritional counseling to help you lose weight.