Causes of Sleep Apnea: All you should know.

Causes of Sleep Apnea: All you should know.

Causes of Sleep Apnea.

Sleep Apnea is now wide spread in the United States. Statisticsshow that 1400 trafficdeaths each year is because of drivers suffering from Sleep Apnea.


It isbelieved that 3% of Americans suffer from it and there are 40 millionundiagnosed Americans suffering from sleep apnea. In America about 1 in 50 or 2.00% or 5.4 million people havethe disease and have not been diagnosed.But what causessleep apnea? Can it be avoided?


SleepApnea occurs when the airways collapse and breathing becomes almost impossible.The patient misses breath cycles for seconds or even minutes. In a healthy patientair passes through the nose and into the lungs. The air goes through the palate,uvula, and tongue base and through the throat muscles. There are several causes of sleep apnea . The patient might have a deviated septum; the septum is the middle wallof the nose. The septum can be deviated to one side or both sides, there by obstructingthe flow of air. Also there are filters in the nose called turbinates, if theybecome injured and swollen they can affect the flow of air into the lungs.

Another cause of sleep apnea is that there a piece of flesh that hangs at theback of the throat called palate and uvula, if they are too long they can fallbackwards and obstruct breathing. Also when one lies on his back the tongue canfall backwards and obstruct the flow of air. In obese and older people themuscles of the neck might collapse and cause blockage of air into the lungs. Apartfrom the physical causes of sleep apnea stated above, there are other reasons an individualmay develop sleep apnea.

  • GERD also known as gastroesophageal refluxdisease can also cause sleep apnea. GERD has to do with acid reflux. Stomachacid finds its way into the esophagus and damages esophageal tissue his cancause serious barriers in the throat and cause sleep apnea.
  • Asthma causes spasm in the airways and could causethe air way to collapse during sleep
  • Allergies can also cause inflammation andcongestion in the throat and increase the risk of sleep apnea.
  • The Central Nervous System of an individual can gowrong and can become on of the causes of sleep apnea. Though thisis rare it is called Central Sleep Apnea. In central sleep apnea, the signalsfrom the brain to the throat are scrambled and therefore the throat staysclosed when it is supposed to be open he difference between obstructive sleep apneaand Central Sleep Apnea is that OSA has to do with blockage that comes fromphysical factors such as a big tongue or soft muscles or Asthma. But in thebrain cannot send signals to the throat area to tell it when to close up oropen.
  • They physical build of a person’s throat canincrease the likely hood of getting sleep apnea. People with small windpipeshave a higher risk of sleep apnea.
  • A person’s lifestyle can affect them and causesleep apnea. Take smokers for example, smoking irritates the throat and cancause airway spasms and closure of the throat.
  • Nasal Congestion is also one of the causes of sleep apnea. When the nostrilsare blocked, the patient cannot breathe, this could be a result of cold,sinusitis, allergies, smoking, and so on.

Other Medical conditions that can cause sleep apnea include:

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 3
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 6
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 7
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 8
  • Arnold-Chiari malformation type 2
  • Metabolic Syndrome
  • Insomnia with sleep apnea
  • Joubert Syndrome
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis type I Hurler syndrome
  • Glycogen storage disease type 2
  • Glaucoma - sleep apnea
  • Chromosome 17, trisomy 17p11.2
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Type 1A
  • Glycogenosis type 2
  • Marfan syndrome

All these factors can cause frequent drops in the oxygenlevels and carbon dioxide builds up and the heart swells. This could lead to aheart attack or stroke and imminent death. To find out about sleep apneatreatment click here.



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