Why is it difficult to breathe when I lay on my back?

I have noticed that every time when I sleep and I roll on my back, I usually wake up short of breath or choking. Could this be a sign of sleep apnea? I have noticed that I also sleep fine when I'm on my side.

Doctors Answers (2)

Richard L. Jacobson, D.M.D., M.S.
Answered on: 1/17/2014

It is possible that you have an anatomical retroglossal constriction. Come in and we can take a 20 second scan that measures the size and volume of your airway and identifies the position of any constriction. There are numerous effective remedies including a removable mandibular posturing appliance that you wear at night depending upon our findings.

SomnoDiagnostics, Inc.
Answered on: 1/17/2014

Depending on your anatomy the excess tissue can fall backward. If you are by chance overweight, the extra weight also can make it difficult.