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There are a few things you can do to lower your risk of sleep apnea. These include:

Maintain an Appropriate Weight

Obesity is the main risk factor for sleep apnea. If you are overweight, you may be able to prevent sleep apnea by talking to your doctor about a weight loss program. If you’re not overweight, try to maintain an appropriate weight through proper diet and exercise.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Drinking alcohol can increase the number of sleep apnea episodes you have each night. Therefore, limit your intake of alcohol.

Avoid Taking Sedative Medications

Sedative medications can worsen sleep apnea. Try to avoid using these medications.

Don't Smoke

Heavy smokers are more likely to develop sleep apnea than nonsmokers. If you smoke, quit.

References:

Getting a diagnosis. American Sleep Apnea Association website. Available at: http://www.sleepapnea.org/diagnosis-and-treatment/diagnosis.html. Accessed June 3, 2013.

NINDS sleep apnea information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sleep_apnea/sleep_apnea.htm. Updated December 28, 2010. Accessed June 3, 2013.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php. Updated May 23, 2013. Accessed June 3, 2013.

Surgical management of obstructive sleep apnea. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/Practice/policySurgicalMgmtApnea.cfm. Accessed June 3, 2013.

What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/SleepApnea/SleepApnea_Summary.html. Updated July 10, 2012. Accessed June 3, 2013.



Last reviewed May 2014 by Marcin Chwistek, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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