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An estimated 18 million Americans are currently suffering from sleep apnea, and for some of those people, surgery may seem like the only option. But in a technological age, there are multitudes of non surgical sleep apnea treatments available. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea and haven’t found a solution to your issues yet, here’s a short list of non surgical sleep apnea treatments to consider.

Lifestyle Changes

If you’re suffering from a mild case of sleep apnea, your doctor’s first recommendation may be simple lifestyle changes. According to a 2006 study completed in Dehli, India, age, obesity, and waist/hip ratio were significant factors in the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). For some patients, losing weight may prove a viable treatment option. In other patients for whom obesity isn’t an issue, lifestyle changes such as staying away from alcohol, stopping use of cigarettes, and even sleeping on one side rather than on the back can be useful in managing sleep apnea.

Oral Appliances

Oral appliances, commonly referred to as mouthpieces, are designed to help those patients with milder cases of sleep apnea. Additionally, this is often a treatment used to help with TMJ and mild snoring. A mouthpiece can be custom-fitted by a dentist or orthodontist to help a patient in any of these scenarios.

Treating sleep apnea doesn’t have to mean an expensive surgical procedure. But before you jump to any kind of treatment, make sure you consult your doctor or sleep specialist.