Living With Sleep Apnea

  • Getting treatment for sleep apnea and following your doctor's advice can help you and your family members.
  • Getting treatment for sleep apnea can help snoring and improve your sleep.
  • Treating sleep apnea helps you feel rested during the day.
  • Many people will benefit by making changes, such as stopping smoking and losing weight.
  • Some will need to wear a mask at night that will help keep the throat open and improve breathing.

A few will need to have surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids, part of the uvula (the tissue that hangs from the middle of the back of the roof of the mouth), and/or the soft palate (roof of your mouth in the back of your throat) that may block the airway. Regular and ongoing follow up with your sleep medicine specialist who will check if your treatment is working and if you are having any side effects.

For Family and Friends, What Can You Do To Help?

Often, people with sleep apnea do not know they have it. They are not aware that their breathing stops and starts many times while they are sleeping.

Family members or bed partners are usually the first ones to notice that the person snores and stops breathing while sleeping. It is important for people with sleep apnea to get medical help. They are at higher risk for car crashes and work-related accidents and other medical problems due to their sleepiness.

People with sleep apnea may fall asleep during the day, even when:

  • Driving a car
  • Working
  • Talking on the phone.

Sleep apnea can be very serious. It is important that people with sleep apnea see their doctor to treat and control this disorder. Treatment may improve the person's overall health and happiness, and the quality of sleep both for the person and the entire family.