Home Health Sleep apnea causes, symptoms, and treatment methods

Sleep apnea causes, symptoms, and treatment methods


Sleep apnea is the inability to breathe while sleeping. Sleep apnea is diagnosed when you do not breathe 5 times per hour on average and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. Depending on the cause, sleep apnea is divided into obstructive, central, and mixed types. It is known that snoring, which is caused by vibration of surrounding structures as the airflow of respiration passes through the narrowed airway during sleep, interferes with sleep and lowers the quality of sleep.

More than 90% of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea. It appears more often in people with a smaller chin than normal, or a thick and short neck. In addition, the inability of the Indian airway expander to overcome the negative pressure in the chest caused by the diaphragm due to dysfunction of the muscles around the pharynx is also known to be one of the factors affecting the occurrence.

Obesity is also associated with the development of sleep apnea. It is known that when fat accumulates in the neck area due to obesity or the tissues such as the tongue and tonsils become enlarged, the space in the throat decreases and the upper airway narrows, causing sleep apnea. And in children, enlarged tonsils and adenoids are reported to be the biggest causes of snoring and sleep apnea. Now, let’s learn more about the main symptoms that can appear when sleep apnea occurs, and various information about treatment and prevention.

The main symptoms of sleep apnea

When sleep apnea symptoms occur, the noise of one’s snoring interferes with deep sleep and reduces the supply of oxygen to the brain during sleep, causing frequent waking during sleep. Frequent waking up in this way lowers the quality of sleep, causing sleep disturbance symptoms that cause drowsiness and severe fatigue during the day, and at the same time, it is accompanied by a decrease in concentration and memory. In addition, sleep apnea can also cause a number of symptoms, such as headaches, elevated blood pressure, and esophageal reflux.

In addition, sleep apnea accompanied by snoring increases the risk of various complications such as hypertension, arrhythmia, and myocardial infarction due to hypoxemia. In addition, the increase in intracranial pressure and the normal metabolism of glucose and fat cause problems, which increases the risk of various diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and stroke. In addition, if the hypoventilation caused by partial blockage of the airway continues to appear during sleep rather than apnea, in which the airway is completely blocked, it can also act as a cause of various neurological complications. Therefore, if apnea and breathing disorders continue to appear during sleep, it is important to visit the hospital for detailed examinations and appropriate treatment procedures.

Sleep apnea treatment and prevention

1. Diagnosis and treatment

For sleep apnea, the severity of snoring or apnea is identified through a questionnaire, weight and BMI are measured through a physical examination, and the main causes of sleep apnea are identified through sequential examinations of the face, neck, nasal cavity, and oral cavity. In addition, polysomnography is applied to measure respiration, pulse, blood oxygen saturation, brain waves, etc. during sleep to check the entire process that occurs during sleep and at the same time identify the main cause of apnea. After that, depending on the diagnosis result, non-surgical and surgical methods are applied and performed. Non-surgical methods include weight loss and improvement of overall lifestyle habits such as abstinence from alcohol, smoking cessation, and correcting sleeping posture, positive pressure therapy that continuously supplies air during sleep, and methods to prevent the tongue from sagging behind the neck through an oral device There are several methods of treatment such as And if symptoms do not improve even with these non-surgical treatments or if treatment does not apply, various surgical treatment methods such as nasal surgery and pharyngeal surgery are considered.

2. Weight Control

Obesity due to overweight causes fat accumulation around the neck and at the same time causes hypertrophy of tissues such as the tongue and tonsils, which is the main cause of sleep apnea, so it is very important to maintain an appropriate weight. According to statistics, it is known that losing about 10% of body weight reduces sleep apnea by about 50%. Therefore, it is important to manage and maintain proper body weight by consistently implementing regular exercise habits such as walking, jogging, and swimming, and at the same time maintaining a healthy and balanced diet. In particular, it is necessary to make efforts to improve the high-fat diet and irregular life patterns that cause weight gain.

3. Correct your sleeping position

Correcting your sleeping position is also important to alleviate the symptoms of sleep apnea. If you go to sleep right away, the airway components sag under the influence of gravity, which can narrow the airway and make symptoms worse. Sleeping on your stomach can also cause pressure on the airways, which can make symptoms worse.

On the other hand, when you sleep on your side, the direction of gravity shifts to the side, which widens the airway and at the same time prevents the tongue from blocking the airway, which is effective in smoothing the flow of breathing during sleep. Also, it is recommended not to use a pillow that is too soft, where the entire head is buried, as it can narrow the airway.

4. Smoking and Abstinence

Smoking and drinking are known to be the main causes of worsening sleep apnea symptoms by reducing the elasticity of the muscles around the uvula, so it is recommended to quit smoking and drinking alcohol. In addition, it is recommended to pay attention to the medications you are taking for other diseases, as they can make apnea symptoms worse. Therefore, it is recommended to limit the intake as much as possible without consulting a specialist.

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I am a contributor to Advancetec.co.uk. I am fascinated by technology overall, especially crypto and it's potential to disrupt the global financial system. But until that future comes, I am perfectly content immersing myself in gaming, movies, gadgets, and all of the other wonders of the modern world.