What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is an unfortunate condition that can cause severe disruptions to an individual’s normal regulated sleep cycle. For this reason, it’s considered paramount to try to deal with this condition before it interferes with daily life. But what causes sleep apnea?

During sleep apnea, an individual’s breathing repeatedly stops and starts over the course of the night. This has the potential to wreak havoc on an individual’s peace of mind and general health.

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

If you suffer from sleep apnea or are just curious about the condition, this article describes its causes and some of the elements of sleep apnea treatment.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts during the night. One of the primary conditions of sleep apnea is that many individuals who suffer from this condition still feel tired after a full night’s sleep due to the disruption they experience during the night.

There are several varieties of sleep apnea that an individual can experience. Each variety has its own set of conditions, causes, and treatments.

  • Central sleep apnea (CSA): This type of sleep apnea occurs when the brain doesn’t send the proper signals to the muscles that control the breathing process of the body.
  • Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA): This is the most common type of sleep apnea. It occurs when the throat muscles relax and block the general flow of air in the lungs.
  • Treatment-emergent central sleep apnea: This type of sleep apnea is also known as complex sleep apnea. In this type of complex sleep apnea, an individual develops CSA from a case of OSA – while they are receiving treatment for OSA.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

There are many different plausible symptoms of sleep apnea. Some of the following are considered some of the more commonly experienced symptoms of the condition:

  • Morning headaches
  • Awakening in the morning with a dry mouth
  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping in the night during sleep
  • Episodes of breathing cessation during sleep
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty paying attention while awaken
  • Daytime sleepiness

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

There are many different causes of sleep apnea and the reasons that it can develop vary heavily from person to person. There is a large amount of evidence that this condition arises in many people due to genetic causes. Some of the other common causes of sleep apnea include the following conditions:

  • Low blood oxygen levels, either from a medical condition or from high altitude
  • Heart disease or heart failure
  • Treating obstructive sleep apnea with a CPAP device
  • Nervous system damage, especially in your brainstem or central spinal cord
  • Certain central nervous system conditions like ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)

Because there are so many plausible sources for developing sleep apnea, you’ll have to partake with your physician in an investigation into the specific sources of your own case. This should help the two of you direct your efforts into an investigation of the source of your own apnea.

Treating Sleep Apnea

There are many different options when it comes to treating sleep apnea. You should look into the exact type that you might benefit the most from. That being said, none of these exact elements constitute a cure for the condition, which will require some level of management throughout your life. Some of the common treatments that are available include:

  • Adaptive ventilation devices
  • Non Medical treatments
  • Oral appliances and mouthpieces
  • Surgery
  • Nerve stimulators
  • Medications

There are several different options for individuals who are looking to treat their sleep apnea without resorting to medical means. You’ll be able to discuss with your physician which ones they think could be beneficial for you.  Some of the common methods for treating sleep apnea include the following:

  • Weight loss: A 10% decrease in overall body weight has the potential to significantly improve sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Nasal strips: These are a set of over-the-counter products that improve breathing, which in turn can make sleep apnea improve.
  • Adjustments to sleeping position: If your apnea is caused by things like heart failure, then treating the underlying condition should help it improve.
  • Medication changes: Certain medications, like opioid painkillers, can interfere with a person’s sleep and cause apnea. Adjusting your intake can possibly resolve your sleep apnea.

New York’s Top Sleep Clinic

Sleep MD NYC is one of the best resources available for individuals who are suffering from sleep apnea and other sleep conditions. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea or other conditions, then contact our office today in order to set up an appointment with our licensed sleep doctor in New York City.

Sleep test now avaialble-click viewx