Three Common Causes Of Sleep Apnea

People diagnosed with sleep apnea often experience irregular sleep patterns. The condition disrupts proper breathing, prompting people to wake up at night repeatedly. Thus, people with sleep apnea rarely enjoy a good night's sleep. Common sleep apnea symptoms are loud snoring, dry mouth, irritability, insomnia, and chronic migraines. Depending on the condition's severity, doctors can recommend medication to mitigate the symptoms. While it is possible to treat the condition, preventing it is beneficial to the patient and improves their quality of life. Many causes of sleep apnea are preventable without requiring invasive procedures. This blog will delve into the root causes of sleep apnea:

Being Overweight or Obese

A significant cause of sleep apnea is obesity. People with excessive weight gain over a short period are at risk of developing sleep apnea. Fatty deposits in your neck and upper airways can cause blockages, a leading cause of obstructive apnea. The soft tissue in your mouth and throat relaxes when you sleep and can block your airways. Doctors recommend maintaining a healthy body mass index to keep this condition at bay. For example, you can make the most out of regular exercise and a balanced diet if you are part of this demographic. 

Increased Risk Associated with Family Genetics and Medical History

Our genes make us who we are and often are to blame for some congenital abnormalities. Some children are born with sleep apnea, while others have family genetics predisposing them to the condition. While it is not possible to avoid your familial genes, you can monitor your condition closely if a member of your family has sleep disorders. Children born with congenital disabilities, like a deviated septum or nasal congestion, are at high risk of contracting this disease. A doctor can recommend medications and minor surgery to treat these defects before they cause obstructive sleep apnea. Moreover, such children may adopt healthy lifestyles from an early age to reduce the chances of getting sleep apnea.

Being Diagnosed with a Chronic Medical Condition

Some chronic conditions may predispose patients to sleep apnea. Patients with chronic diseases like congestive heart failure, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and high blood pressure are high-risk candidates for sleep apnea. Such chronic conditions interfere with the distinctive Cheyne-Stokes breathing pattern and disrupt vital breathing functions. Besides chronic illnesses, brain injuries and trauma can also trigger sleep apnea, necessitating specialized treatment. For example, doctors may adjust opiate-based medications such as hydrocodone and fentanyl to reduce the impact on patients' breathing patterns. Thus, patients with disrupted sleep patterns should seek medical attention for proper care.

If you have additional questions about sleep apnea, contact a company like Upstate Sleep Solutions.