It is very important to treat sleep apnea. Untreated sleep apnea can have very serious long-term effects on your health. It may increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks and sudden death. Effective treatment of sleep apnea may result in normal blood pressure, relief of fatigue and weight loss.
The most common treatment is use of a machine that sends pressurized air into your nose and throat at night. How much pressure you need is determined by the sleep study. Your healthcare provider will carefully supervise your use of this breathing machine because minor adjustments may need to be made so it works right for you. This treatment is called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).
If you have pressure on your throat because of excess fatty tissue in your throat, your healthcare provider may suggest a weight-loss program. It may be hard for you to lose weight because you are extremely tired and lack energy to exercise. Use of the breathing machine may help you rest well enough to begin changes in your diet and to increase your physical activity so you can lose weight.
Surgery may be an option if you cannot use the breathing machine regularly and properly. A surgical treatment might include improving the air passage in the nose, removing the tonsils or moving the back of the tongue forward.