5 Causes of Sleep Apnea and Helpful Solutions

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Has loud snoring of your partner irritates you and keeps you up all night? If yes, then your sleeping partner may have sleep apnea. The good news is that it can be cured with a very little effort! First, you must begin by identifying causes of sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea Culprits

  1. Gender or age

Sorry gentlemen but your gender makes you twice as likely to get sleep apnea. Ladies, this does not put you in the safe zone! Women can be at risk due to being overweight and even have higher chances for it after menopause. However, both genders are at risk after a certain age as sleep apnea commonly affects older people.

  1. Excess weight or neck circumference

Although people of average weight can still get sleep apnea, obese adults are four times more likely to get it. This is because breathing becomes obstructed from the upper airway being surrounded by fat deposits. Weight can also contribute to another culprit, neck circumference. The thicker your neck is the higher the possibility is for narrower airways. As a general estimate, men with a neck circumference of at least 17 inches, 15 inches for women, are at an increased risk. However, this does not mean that obesity or neck circumference will cause sleep apnea.

  1. Nasal congestion or narrowed airways

Anything obstructing the airway can potentially cause sleep apnea. This includes nasal congestion caused by anatomical problems, illness and allergies. Also, narrowed airways can be just as likely to cause the sleeping condition as congestion. Narrowed airways can be blamed on a naturally narrow throat, swollen adenoids or enlarged tonsils.

  1. Smoking, alcohol, sedatives, or tranquilizers

Finally, factors foreign to the body can cause sleep apnea. Smoking puts people at three times the risk because of the experienced upper airway inflammation and fluid retention. Sedatives, tranquilizers, and alcohol relax your throat muscles which can narrow or close off airways.

  1. Additional causes

  • Heart disorders
  • Stroke
  • Narcotic pain medications
  • Family history

All of these causes can usher in a number of side effects.

  • Liver problems
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Fatigue
  • Medication and surgery complications
  • Heart problems
  • Unhappy sleeping partners
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • High blood pressure

Sleep Apnea Solutions

It seems like a lot can put you at risk for sleep apnea! However, there are things you can do to identify and prevent sleep apnea

  • sleep centerSleep on your right side
  • Expiratory positive airway pressure (EPAP)
  • Nocturnal polysomnography at a sleep center
  • Tracheostomy
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Supplemental oxygen
  • Bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP)
  • Tissue removal
  • Home sleep tests
  • Adaptive servo-ventilation (ASV)
  • Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)
  • Quit smoking
  • Jaw repositioning
  • Exercise
  • Lose weight

Sleep Soundly!

Sleep apnea is a bedtime disaster for both you and your partner. Causes of sleep apnea can both be in and out of your control. It can leave you or your sleeping partner to face unpleasant side effects. Regardless of the situation, there are multiple solutions that can help. Take back your sleep and have a restful night!

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