Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a serious health condition that affects people of all ages, including children. It is caused by a mechanical problem that blocks the airway, resulting in poor sleep quality and daytime sleepiness. Fortunately, there are several factors that can worsen sleep apnea, some of which are under your control. In this article, we'll discuss 8 factors that can worsen sleep apnea and what you can do to reduce the severity of the condition.Weight gain is one of the most common factors that can worsen sleep apnea.
Even a 10 to 15 percent weight loss if you're overweight or obese can reduce severity by 50 percent. Losing weight can reduce the severity of sleep apnea or even significantly reduce the risk of developing the disorder.Alcohol consumption is another factor that can worsen sleep apnea. Alcohol promotes muscle relaxation, which may include the throat and tongue muscles. Drinking alcohol too close to bed can cause these muscles to relax and cause the tongue to fall back into the respiratory tract, causing snoring or worsening symptoms of sleep apnea.
To avoid this, avoid consuming alcohol a few hours before bedtime.Older adults may face new sleep problems that they never experienced when they were younger. Unfortunately, older adults have a higher risk of sleep apnea simply because of their age. Although your anatomy may predispose you to obstructive sleep apnea, there are other factors and risks that could worsen the condition.Sleeping position is another factor that can worsen sleep apnea. Some people's sleep apnea worsens significantly with their sleeping position.
This is because the soft tissues of the respiratory tract, including the soft palate and tongue, can recede and block the passage of air. Gravity contributes, and lying on your back will make this more likely. To reduce this risk factor, positional therapy to stay sleeping on their side can be very helpful.The REM phase of sleep is another factor that can worsen sleep apnea. This tube becomes flexible and foldable during REM sleep.
As a result, sleep apnea often worsens during REM sleep. Since REM sleep is an integral part of sleep quality, this particular risk factor cannot be avoided.Alcohol consumption is another factor that can worsen sleep apnea. Contrary to the tradition of having a drink, it is clear that alcohol negatively affects sleep. While it can make you feel sleepy, as it goes away it causes fragmented sleep and insomnia.
In addition, as a muscle relaxant, it can make the upper respiratory tract more foldable. This risk factor is under your control.Menopause in women is another factor that can worsen sleep apnea. During menopause, women experience hormonal changes that can lead to an increase in body fat and a decrease in muscle mass. This increase in body fat can lead to an increase in airway resistance and an increase in snoring and other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.Prescription medications are another factor that can worsen sleep apnea.
Some medications used to treat depression or anxiety may cause drowsiness or sedation which can lead to an increase in airway resistance and an increase in snoring and other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.Finally, muscle relaxation is another factor that can worsen sleep apnea. Muscle relaxation occurs when muscles become relaxed due to lack of activity or due to certain medications or drugs such as alcohol or sedatives. This relaxation of muscles can lead to an increase in airway resistance and an increase in snoring and other symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea.If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, your doctor may refer you to a sleep specialist who will perform a sleep study to determine if you have sleep apnea. Apnea treatment depends on the cause and severity.
In the case of mild apnea, breathing may improve if better habits are developed such as avoiding alcohol and sedatives close to bedtime, weight loss for those who are obese, changing body positions at night, and using positional therapy to stay sleeping on their side.It's important to understand that lifestyle habits and health conditions can worsen apnea so it's important to find out what can make your sleep apnea worse so you can find the treatment plan that's best for you. If you are concerned that your medications may increase your risk of sleep apnea, you should talk to the doctor who prescribed the prescription for you.