Can Sleep Apnea Go Away If You Lose Weight?

Most people will tell you that sleep apnea causes high blood pressure and even heart problems. While it’s true that obesity is a significant cause of sleep apnea, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, there are people with healthy weight ranges who suffer from the condition. This is because there are multiple factors that contribute to the development of sleep apnea, and not necessarily weight. Let’s take a look at what causes this serious sleeping condition and what you can do about it.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition where the breathing passages become blocked during sleep. This results in loud snoring and/or choking sensations, which wake the individual from sleep. In some cases, the individual will actually stop breathing during the night, leading to low blood oxygen levels and other complications. While there are various contributing factors to sleep apnea, some of the more prominent ones include:

  • A large, thick tongue
  • Fat deposits around the vocal cords
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • And, of course, excessive weight

The first step to understanding why you might have sleep apnea is to consult with a physician, who will conduct an examination. From there, the doctor will determine whether or not you have apnea. If you do have apnea, the physician will refer you to a sleep specialist for treatment. After the specialist treats you for apnea, the physician can start you on a treatment plan that will help you get rid of the condition.

Why Are Thinness And Overweight Related To Sleep Apnea?

As we’ve established, not all people with sleep apnea are overweight. In fact, many cases of the condition are actually associated with a healthy weight range. This is why getting thin might not necessarily cure you of sleep apnea. There are, however, a number of reasons why being overweight might make you more susceptible to developing the condition.

  • A large, thick tongue
  • Fat deposits around the vocal cords
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • A history of drug or alcohol abuse
  • And, of course, excessive weight

First off, let’s discuss tongues. Large, thick tongues are a definite cause for sleep apnea, as they push against the opening of the breathing passages, which can lead to obstruction. It’s also important to note that the more you weigh, the greater the pressure that the tongue will put on the throat, leading to apnea. If you’re wondering how much weight you should be aiming for, the answer is none! Just stay within a healthy weight range, and you shouldn’t have any problems.

Can Losing Weight Help With Sleep Apnea?

Many people with sleep apnea are completely unaware that they have the condition, due to the fact that symptoms are quiet and not terribly noticeable. This is why it’s important to note that treatment for sleep apnea is highly dependent on the individual. In some cases, losing weight can completely eliminate the condition. However, in other cases, it might not be as easy as just slimming down. There are various factors that make losing weight more or less difficult for some people, so you might need to try a few different approaches to see what works best for you.

  • If you have a history of the condition in your family, you might have to lose more weight than someone without the condition
  • Obese people with sleep apnea might have a greater metabolic rate than those of a normal weight, so it’s harder for them to lose weight
  • You might need to try behavioral therapy and/or a sleep apnea mask to eliminate the condition
  • If you have sleep apnea and also have high blood pressure, you might need to try a different treatment approach
  • And, of course, there’s the issue of how you feel about yourself and your body. In many cases, people with sleep apnea don’t feel comfortable being too thin, because they don’t feel that they look good enough. This can make it harder to lose weight, especially if you’re under pressure from friends and family to do so.

How Do I Know If I Have Sleep Apnea?

The most significant factor contributing to the development of sleep apnea is weight. In most cases, people with apnea are obese. However, it’s not always the case, as there are people with the condition who have a healthy weight range. Let’s take a look at the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea, so you can determine with certainty whether or not you have the condition.


Snoring is one of the most significant signs that you have sleep apnea. Not only does it indicate that you have the condition, but it can also result in apnea during sleep. Not all snoring is created equal, either. There are various types of snoring, and only one of them is associated with the condition. This type of snoring is called obstructive sleep apnea, and it results from something called upper airway resistance. If you have this type of snoring, it’s pretty clear that you have apnea. When you have this type of snoring, you also have a high risk of developing other conditions associated with apnea, such as:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Asthma

Now, you might not always present with all of these risks. In many cases, you’ll only have one or two, but it’s still significant that you have any of these concerns. It means that you have upper airway resistance and are at risk of developing apnea. The trick is to see how you snore. If you have a history of heavy drinking or drug use, it might be best to avoid sleeping pills, as they could potentially cause serious problems. Instead, you could try using a sleep mask to block out the light and reduce noise, which could potentially alleviate some of your snoring issues. You might also want to see if behavioral therapy will help with your snoring. In some cases, this could be worth a try.

Choking Sensations

Another significant sign that you have sleep apnea is choking sensations. In some cases, people will choke while sleeping if their breathing passages are obstructed. This can lead to serious complications, so it’s vital to seek treatment if you experience these symptoms. In most cases, choking sensations will occur during sleep and only occasionally during wakefulness. If you experience these symptoms during the day, it means you might have apnea. There are various other factors that could be contributing to these choking sensations, so it might be best to consult with a physician. This is particularly important if you experience these symptoms regularly. In most cases, people will experience these symptoms once or twice a week, but in some cases, it could be every night. If you’re worried that you might have sleep apnea, it might be best to consult with a physician to have an examination. This will help determine whether or not you have the condition, and if you do, it will help start you on the road to treatment. If you lose weight and don’t feel that you can maintain a healthy weight range, then it might be time to consider more advanced therapy.

Other Symptoms

There are a number of other symptoms that could be associated with sleep apnea. Some of these symptoms include: