What Causes Sleep Apnea

The risk factors of Sleep Apnea may contain:

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Overweight or obese

Those people are more likely to snore or have sleep apnea.

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A narrowed airway

Some people may have a long soft palate, or large tonsils or adenoids, which can narrow the airway and cause snoring.

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Being male

Men’s airways are generally narrower than women’s.

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Being older

With age, muscular flaccidity leads to airway collapse.

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Drinking alcohol

Alcohol relaxes your throat muscles, increasing the risk of snoring.

Types of Sleep Apnea

There Are 3 Types of Sleep Apnea.
Here are the key differences among obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the upper airway is narrowed or closes during sleep when muscles relax, causing under breathing or stopping breathing [1].

Central Sleep Apnea

Central Sleep Apnea

Central sleep apnea occurs because your brain doesn't send proper signals to the muscles that control your breathing.

Mixed Sleep Apnea

Mixed Sleep Apnea

A condition in which both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA) occur during a full night's sleep is called mixed sleep apnea.

How to Treat It

One of the most effective treatments for obstructive sleep apnea is a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) device. CPAP uses an air pump and specialized mask to comfortably deliver air pressure to the upper airways while sleeping.

If you're uncomfortable with the idea of a CPAP machine, your healthcare provider may recommend that you try something else. For example, some people may benefit from sitting in bed while they sleep or take nap.

Others use special appliances to help them breathe through their nose instead of their mouth at night. Ultimately, your healthcare provider can help determine what's best for you.

Surgery may be an option to consider if your sleep apnea is not being treated effectively, or if it is causing difficulties at work and at home. Surgery can often address major causes of sleep apnea, such as enlarged tonsils or a deviated diaphragm.

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CPAP

CPAP device uses a tube attached to a mask and provides a constant and steady air pressure to help you breathe while you sleep.

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Auto CPAP

Auto CPAP is short for Automatic Positive Airway Pressure. It's one of the three primary types of positive airway pressure that opens the airway during sleep.

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BPAP

BPAP is short for Bi-level Positive Airway Pressure and this device has a very similar function to CPAP device therapy.

Citations

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1Harrington, C. The Complete Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep. Pan MacMillan Australia 2014
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