Answering this question is very difficult because it depends on each patient’s situation.
Some people are naturally born with smaller airways. This body “architecture” is determined by genetics and cannot be changed. In these patients, it can be assumed that the use of a CPAP should be done all throughout their life, unless surgery is possible.
At the back of the throat, there is an area called the Waldeyer ring. This region is composed of the palatine tonsils, lingual tonsils and adenoids. These organs function is to fight against infections. For various reasons, some patients’ tonsils are larger than normal (hypertrophic) and obstruct the airways. Their surgical removal can help reduce the severity of sleep apnea, but in most cases, it is not a very effective treatment.
Obese patients represent the majority of CPAP users. Excess fat in the neck narrows the airway, causing sleep apnea. Significant weight loss could allow some patients to get rid of their CPAP. If you lose enough weight, a new sleep study could confirm that your apnea is gone and that you do not need CPAP anymore.
Patient adherence to CPAP is sometimes lacking. Some people cannot bear the idea of having a CPAP their whole life. In these cases, they should discuss alternative treatments for sleep apnea with a sleep professional. Today there is a variety of surgical and non-surgical alternatives to CPAP.