Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that affects the quality of your life. It causes a person to stop breathing for brief periods during the night, leading to many awakenings each night as you try to catch your breath. Though the condition is well-known, it’s only recently that the root cause of the problem has been identified. That’s right, you’ve been dealing with sleep apnea all along.
Sleep apnea has been widely used as a method of stimulating the brain. Sleepers place pressure on their neck and throat muscles, creating a vacuum that causes the airway to become partially blocked. The blockage causes the brain to believe that a body part is not properly supported, causing other bodily functions to shut down, such as urination or digestion. When this happens during the night, most people awaken, questioning what happened to them and why they woke up.
Studies have shown that the major cause of sleep apnea is a lifestyle. Stress, obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption, and lack of exercise have all been found to be risk factors. If a person is overweight, sleep apnea is likely to occur. Other lifestyle conditions that may contribute to the condition include:
Sleep apnea can also be caused by some medical conditions. For example, tumors in the throat, neck, or head have been linked to sleep apnea. Other conditions that can cause sleep apnea include:
Sleep apnea is more common among men than women. This may be due to the fact that men tend to wear heavier clothing, which can obstruct the airway even further. Being overweight also puts a person at a higher risk of developing the condition.
Sleep apnea is more common in men than in women and is most common in age groups above 60 years old. A diagnosis of sleep apnea may be delayed until age 65. However, that doesn’t mean that it will take that long for treatment to take effect.
Sleep apnea can occur in individuals who are overweight. Obesity contributes to daytime sleepiness and can make a person more susceptible to this condition. Preventing obesity, especially in people who are prone to sleeping disorders, is essential in order to help treat the condition.
There are other medical conditions that can lead to sleep apnea. For example, it can occur when the tongue moves during sleep, or the soft palate, the area between the mouth and the roof of the mouth, can also move during sleep. With either of these conditions, the soft palate is put under pressure, making it susceptible to blockages, or to collapse when sleeping.
It’s also important to note that sleep apnea is not necessarily related to an obstruction in the airway, although that’s what the term is usually based on. The condition can also occur because of problems in the nervous system, such as hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. Breathing can be restricted by drugs, either taken or ingested.
It’s very important to seek treatment for sleep apnea if you suspect that you have the condition. Many people believe that sleeping pills are the only option for treating the condition, but that’s not always the case. Medications, including antihistamines, can be prescribed by your doctor in order to treat symptoms.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, see your doctor immediately. He or she will conduct a physical exam to determine if you have a condition that requires medical attention. You’ll be given a thorough physical examination, including a complete history and information about any allergies you may have, as well as information about your diet and any medications you may be taking.