9 doctors weighed in:

Is weight loss effective at treating sleep apnea?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Marcel Hungs
Neurology
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Weight loss is a corner stone of the treatment in sleep apnea.
Returning the body mass index to a normal range can lead to an improvement, if not even the cure of sleep apnea.

In brief: Yes

Weight loss is a corner stone of the treatment in sleep apnea.
Returning the body mass index to a normal range can lead to an improvement, if not even the cure of sleep apnea.
Dr. Marcel Hungs
Dr. Marcel Hungs
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Dr. David Astrachan
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Usually yes

Most apnea patients are obese and weight loss can improve and sometimes cure them depending on the degree that their obesity narrows their airway.
There is a subset of apnea patients who are of normal weight and have issues of obstruction unrelated to obesity.

In brief: Usually yes

Most apnea patients are obese and weight loss can improve and sometimes cure them depending on the degree that their obesity narrows their airway.
There is a subset of apnea patients who are of normal weight and have issues of obstruction unrelated to obesity.
Dr. David Astrachan
Dr. David Astrachan
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Dr. Ofer Jacobowitz
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Often

Weight loss can often reduce or resolve obstructive sleep apnea.
Weight gain is associated with tongue enlargement and reduced width of the throat. If you lose considerable weight, don't just assume the sleep apnea is cured, as sleep apnea is also related to your facial features, muscle tone and pattern of breathing. Repeat the sleep study.

In brief: Often

Weight loss can often reduce or resolve obstructive sleep apnea.
Weight gain is associated with tongue enlargement and reduced width of the throat. If you lose considerable weight, don't just assume the sleep apnea is cured, as sleep apnea is also related to your facial features, muscle tone and pattern of breathing. Repeat the sleep study.
Dr. Ofer Jacobowitz
Dr. Ofer Jacobowitz
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Dr. Robert Kwok
Pediatrics

In brief: Yes

Weight loss improves sleep apnea.
An obese person with sleep apnea may not have enough space in the throat area, so air can't flow easily to the lungs during sleep. Being obese, he has more fat, including in the neck and throat areas, so there is more flesh to block air flow. An obese person lying down has extra weight in the tummy pushing up the bottom of the chest, making breathing more work.

In brief: Yes

Weight loss improves sleep apnea.
An obese person with sleep apnea may not have enough space in the throat area, so air can't flow easily to the lungs during sleep. Being obese, he has more fat, including in the neck and throat areas, so there is more flesh to block air flow. An obese person lying down has extra weight in the tummy pushing up the bottom of the chest, making breathing more work.
Dr. Robert Kwok
Dr. Robert Kwok
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