What is the number one cause of sleep apnea?

In adults, the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity, which are associated with the soft tissues of the mouth and throat. During sleep, when the throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed, this soft tissue can cause the respiratory tract to become blocked. Knowing the types of sleep apnea, as well as the symptoms, causes, and treatments, can help people understand this condition and minimize its potential health effects. Sleep apnea reduces the quality of sleep, and the effects of lack of sleep are aggravated by the way sleep apnea affects oxygen levels in the body.

This chronic interruption of the normal sleep cycle can cause people to feel exhausted and sleepy during the day and increase the risk of health problems related to lack of sleep and reduced blood oxygen levels during sleep, such as irritability, problems with memory or concentration, anxiety and depression, although interruptions are usually so brief that most people don't even realize they've woken up during the night. Treatment for central sleep apnea often focuses on addressing the medical problem that causes abnormal breathing. The main risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea are related to age, gender, body weight and certain anatomical features of the head and neck area. For people with CSA, a part of the brain called the brain stem doesn't correctly recognize the levels of carbon dioxide in the body during sleep.

However, if the symptoms of central sleep apnea are persistent or severe, additional treatment may be recommended to improve breathing while also trying to resolve the underlying problem. Here's an introduction to what happens in the throat and what causes obstructive sleep apnea and all the factors that may increase the risk of developing it. An additional component of treatment for obstructive sleep apnea involves lifestyle changes to help control symptoms. Sudden drops in blood oxygen levels that occur during sleep apnea increase blood pressure and overload the cardiovascular system.

There are several factors that affect a person's chances of developing sleep apnea, and those factors are different for OSA and CSA. For many children, obstructive sleep apnea is due to enlargement of the tonsils and adenoids in the throat, and surgery to remove these tissues may be a treatment option. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Cerebrovascular Accident (NINDS) and other institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct research related to sleep apnea in NIH laboratories and also support additional research through grants to major medical institutions across the country. The evaluation for sleep apnea usually begins with a review of the person's symptoms and general health status, as well as a physical exam.

In people with obstructive sleep apnea, the muscles in the back of the throat relax during sleep, reducing the space through which air passes. During polysomnography, several sensors are used to track breathing, awakenings, oxygen levels, muscle movement, stages of sleep, and other aspects of sleep.

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