Causes and treatment of sleep apnea

Causes and treatment of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that can lead to serious health problems including high blood pressure and heart trouble if left untreated. It causes hindrances in breathing repeatedly while sleeping and loud snoring. Moreover, during the daytime, it can lead to tiredness even with a full night's sleep.

It is a serious sleeping problem that happens when a person is breathing and is interrupted during sleep. If left untreated, the patient will stop breathing repeatedly during sleep. The distinct health problems that follow include hypertension, stroke, heart failure, diabetes, and cardiomyopathy. It is also responsible for job impairment and work-related accidents and underachievement in school in children and adolescents.

Sleep apnea occurs in 25% of men and 10% of women which can affect people of all ages including babies and children but particularly the people over the age of 50 who are overweight.


Sleep apnea can be caused by a blockage in the airway when the soft tissue in the rear of the throat collapses during sleep.

Obstructive sleep apnea can be caused when the muscles supporting the soft palate hang from the soft palate and the side walls of the throat and the tongue. The patient cannot get enough air while relaxing the muscles which narrows or closes the airway when you breathe in and can lower the oxygen level in the blood which is sensed by the brain due to the inability to breathe. It further rouses the patient from sleep so that the patient can reopen the airway. This pattern can be repeated 5 to 30 times or more each night.

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to transmit signals to the breathing muscles which make no effort to breathe for a short period and might awaken the patient with shortness of breath or having a difficult time to get sleep or staying asleep.


Sleep apnea can be treated through conservative treatment from a sleep apnea clinic in Mississauga, especially in the cases of obstructive sleep apnea. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea can lose weight and avoid the use of alcohol and certain sleeping pills that make the airway more likely to collapse during sleep and prolong the apneic periods.

Another way of treating sleep apnea is by mechanical therapy which includes positive airway pressure therapy that is preferred for the initial treatment of people with obstructive sleep apnea. Continuous positive airway pressure is the most widely used device to set one single pressure. Mandibular advancement devices are used to treat moderate obstructive sleep apnea to prevent the tongue from blocking the throat or advance the lower jaw forward to keep the airway open during sleep.

Surgery can be another option to help people with sleep apnea who do not specifically sleep apnea but snore and have excessive or malformed tissue obstructing airflow through the nose or throat like deviated nasal septum. Tonsillectomy, nasal surgery, mandibular advancement surgery, somnoplasty, and uvulopalatopharyngoplasty are the surgeries recommended for sleep apnea.

In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the author by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.
Comments (0)

    No comments yet

You must be logged in to comment.

Sign In / Sign Up