Sleep apnea can happen for many reasons, but there is one common reason that can be considered the main cause of sleep apnea, obstruction. Sleep apnea can be considered a very serious condition as it involves you being unable to breathe and a loss of oxygen in your blood.
At CK Dental in Lakewood, CO, area, we believe in giving you access to information that benefits you. Below we will talk about one of the main causes of sleep apnea and how you can prevent or treat the cause so that you can get a good night’s rest.
The two main types of sleep apnea. Firstly there is obstructive sleep and central sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common and is caused by the way you breathe and how your body works.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by obesity and excessive weight in adults, as the soft tissue in your mouth can block your upper airway. The soft tissue in question can be found in your mouth and throat, and during sleep, it relaxes and blocks your airways.
Obstructive sleep apnea is different from central sleep apnea, as obstructive sleep apnea can be affected by weight. Central sleep apnea can happen when your brain doesn’t send the correct signals to your muscles that allow you to breathe while sleeping.
More than half of the people who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea are either obese or overweight. You can be considered overweight if your body mass index, BMI, is 25 to 29.9. You can be considered obese if your body mass index, BMI, is 30 or above.
The dangers of being obese or overweight with obstructive sleep apnea increase the more weight you put on. A weight gain of 10% of your body weight can increase the risk of having obstructive sleep apnea by six times.
A sign of obesity can be the size of a person’s neck width. Men who have a neck circumference that is greater than 17 inches or 43 centimeters and women who have a neck circumference that is greater than 15 inches or 38 centimeters are at a greater risk of suffering from obstructive sleep apnea.
One of the biggest ways to help reduce the effects of obstructive sleep apnea is by losing excessive weight and decreasing your body mass index, BMI. By decreasing your overall weight, you can decrease how severe obstructive sleep apnea can be.
You can also use a BiPap or a Continuous Positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine that can breathe for you while you are sleeping. Here at CK Dental, we offer an alternative treatment to sleep apnea, so you do not have to use a CPAP machine for breathing as some people find them too noisy.
You should also not sleep on your back as gravity can push that soft tissue in your neck and mouth to close your airways. Instead, you should sleep on your side.