Harvard Men's Health Watch

New options for treating sleep apnea

Now there are more comfortable ways to correct the disordered breathing that disrupts your slumber.

There's good news for anyone with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). For one, more people can undergo sleep testing at home, making diagnosis more comfortable and convenient. On the treatment side, there are additional choices besides continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), which many people use inconsistently despite doctors' warnings. Finally, although excess body weight plays a central role in OSA, it also means you can kick apnea for good with lifestyle change.

"A loss of 10% in body weight can bring about a noticeable drop in the severity of the apnea," says Dr. Lawrence J. Epstein, instructor in medicine at Harvard Medical School and a senior sleep physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital. "It doesn't take a lot to begin to see change."

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