The 3 Causes of Sleep Apnea


Sleeping apnea is one of the crucial sleeping disorders that involve a stoppage of breathing consecutively for around 10 seconds during sleep. This disorder has several consequences, including an acute shortage of oxygen in the blood. Untreated sleep apnea can cause you to stop breathing regularly throughout sleep. It can cause loud snoring and fatigue during the day, even after a whole night’s sleep.

Types of Sleeping Apnea

There are two types of sleep apnea conditions, namely obstructive and central sleep disorder. First, a breathing system problem causes obstructive apnea or OSA. It’s caused by an airway obstruction, which commonly happens during sleep when the soft tissue at the back of the throat contracts.

In contrast, central apnea or CSA is caused by the inability of the brain to signal the breathing muscle or the entire system accurately. Such apnea results from failure to breathe briefly or not getting enough breath to the extent that your body doesn’t enjoy enough oxygen. In addition, people with central nervous system dysfunction, such as after a stroke, or those with neuromuscular disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, are more prone to suffering. It is also common in those who have heart failure or other cardiac, renal, or pulmonary issues.

Causes of Sleep Disorder

It’s, therefore, crucial to understand the causes of the apnea and how you can prevent it. The following are three causes of sleep apnea.

  1. Obesity

Obesity increases the risk of developing obstructive sleeping apnea. According to studies, 45% of people with OSA are overweight. The course of OSA is determined by both the onset of the disorder and the failure to control it. However, being overweight may make it more difficult to sleep at night due to the extra stress on your airways.

If you do not seek treatment for OSA that is caused by another factor, you may become grossly obese. Our bodies react in a variety of ways to sleep deprivation. As a consequence, some people may gain an excessive amount of weight. According to research, OSA may reduce the weight-loss benefits of the hormone leptin.

OSA and low leptin levels (due to more severe OSA) increase the cells’ inflammatory response to free radicals, resulting in a persistent low-grade inflammatory state. High levels of oxidative stress in OSA patients may contribute to this inflammation. OSA may also indirectly affect insulin sensitivity and glucose breakdown by regulating leptin. So, it is crucial for appetite regulation and metabolic functions. If someone who has OSA doesn’t seek help, they may get worse and get type 2 diabetes.

2.  Genetics, Age, and Gender

For the respiratory system to function correctly, the airway must be clean and free of obstructions. Children are more likely to have a sleep disorder if their parents suffer from the same condition. This might be because of the neck’s physical structure, but it’s also possible that it’s related to other factors.

Cleft lip and Down syndrome are examples of these, and their effects on the facial bones and tongue account for this disorder. Another common symptom is snoring, caused by the soft palate collapsing and the throat tissue vibrating when the child sleeps. However, as the youngster grows, this may be gone. Even if the child is not exhausted, they may have difficulty sleeping or staying up long enough for an enjoyable day.

Regrettably, sleep disturbances are increasingly prevalent among the elderly. Additionally, males are more prone to suffering from OSA compared to women. As a result, your upper airways become stiffer when you sleep. This occurs as a result of improper muscle relaxation during sleep. The best way to keep this from happening is to eat a healthy diet and get enough exercise every day.

 3. Daily Habits and Lifestyle

Smoking exacerbates throat irritation and edema in the upper airway. Alcohol is also a risk factor because it relaxes the throat muscles. According to several pieces of research, persons with an untreated sleep disorder may be more prone to acquire a smoking habit. This might be because of the tension produced by insufficient sleep. 

As a result, the single most critical suggestion for people with sleep disorders is to stop smoking and drinking. Additionally, it is essential to avoid other elements that might irritate the throat, such as hot or spicy meals.

If you have a sleep disorder, don’t hesitate to go for a professional checkup as early as possible to avoid worsening the condition in the long run. Although it is prevalent among overweight older men, a sleep disorder may affect anybody. If left untreated, it can lead to health concerns such as high blood pressure and heart problems.



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