Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Causes and Cures of Sleep Apnea

Sleep and the lack of it is a major health concern today. Many sleep disorders are being studied to try to find relief from the perils of sleeping too little Among those sleep disorders sleep apnea is probably most well known of the group. The cause of Obstructive Sleep Apnea is the blockage of the airway in the back of the throat.

Things that contribute to sleep apnea

  • Probably the most talked about cause of sleep apnea is weight gain. In today’s society gaining weight among adults and children is a serious health threat and not only for sleep apnea. Being overweight contributes to heart disease and diabetes not to mention many other illnesses. Losing weight in itself might not cure your sleep apnea it will definitely make it better by reducing the size of the tissue in the back of your throat. 
  • The shape of your face and jaw play a factor in whether you have sleep apnea or not. A narrow throat can block the throat’s airway. 
  • An enlarged tongue can also block the airway. 
  • Nasal problems can contribute to snoring and proper breathing at night. Not something that you would want to have if you already have sleep apnea.


Of course there is also central sleep apnea which deals with the brain rather than the blockage of the airway.


Possible treatments


  • The most popular treatment is the use of the cpap machine. Continuous air is pushed through a hose into your nose or mouth forcing your airway to remain open. Although this is a popular treatment not everyone can get used to wearing a cpap mask at night. 
  • There are various surgeries to reduce the amount of tissue in the back of the throat such as Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty, Laser-assisted uvulopalatoplasty surgery. 
  • maxillomandibular advancement is a surgery that moves the jaw forward that in turn opens the airway. 
  • For mild to moderate sleep apnea dental devices can be worn at night to reduce the snoring.

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