Posted on Thursday, February 1st, 2024 at 3:13 pm    

Drugs such as Ozempic and Wegovy primarily help patients control diabetes and lose weight. However, some doctors are beginning to find these medications may offer an additional, unexpected benefit: helping with sleep apnea.

The Connection Between Obesity and Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common sleep disorder that causes pauses in breathing or cycles of shallow breathing during sleep. Per the Mayo Clinic, common signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Snoring
  • Headache in the morning
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Attention problems during waking hours
  • Irritability or mood issues
  • Feeling tired during the day

Some of the symptoms of sleep apnea are noticeable for someone sharing a bed with an individual who has this condition. For example, someone sharing a bed with a person who has sleep apnea may notice them gasping for air in the night.

Various factors can cause or contribute to sleep apnea. Obesity may be one of them. According to a study in the journal Sleep Medicine and Disorders, fat deposits in the upper respiratory tract can block airways and lead to sleep apnea.

How Medications Like Ozempic and Wegovy May Help Sleep Apnea Patients

According to a report in Health, some patients who take popular weight-loss medications report improvements in their sleep apnea symptoms. Currently, there is no definitive answer as to why this occurs.

The fact that weight-loss drugs treat one of the most common causes of sleep apnea is likely significant. According to Sethu Reddy, MD, president of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology, patients who take these medications may see a reduction in the fat tissue in their necks. Their airways may thus become less blocked, allowing them to breathe more easily while sleeping.

Reddy points out that losing weight is among the most effective means to manage sleep apnea. As such, it may not be a surprise that medications promoting weight loss help patients treat sleep apnea as well.

The Importance of Treating Sleep Apnea

Do not ignore the symptoms of sleep apnea. If left untreated, the condition can lead to significant health issues. For example, struggling to breathe during the night causes cardiovascular problems.

Various treatment options are available for sleep apnea. They range from surgery to oral appliance therapy. 

Seek treatment and follow the advice of the doctor. Remember that while Ozempic and Wegovy may aid in the treatment of sleep apnea, their use in this application has not been widely researched. Although they may prove to be useful in the treatment of sleep apnea, evidence of their effectiveness is merely anecdotal at this time. 

Contact a New York Sleep Specialist

More research is necessary to determine whether weight-loss drugs may also be useful as sleep apnea treatments. Fortunately, there are many effective options to treat sleep apnea, including an array of oral appliances. If sleep apnea or a similar condition is preventing you from getting restful sleep, we at Silent Night Therapy can help. Get started today by scheduling a consultation online or calling us at 631-983-2463.