Still, most likely the cause of sleep apnea is
related to another
condition, which could be improved or corrected and have an effect on
the apnea. If you would like to try and improve your situation and make
it possible to sleep without using a CPAP machine, then you first must
understand exactly what
sleep apnea is and how it works. The first step
to understanding and trying to improve your condition is to know about
the causes of sleep apnea.
of Sleep Apnea
are two different types of this sleeping disorder, and in order
to understand what is causing the disorder, you must first know which
one you are suffering from.
two types are obstructive
sleep apnea and central
Central sleep apnea is a very rare condition where the cessations in
breathing during sleep are caused by a problem with the central nervous
system, whereas obstructive sleep apnea refers to a condition where the
breathing stops due to blockages or restrictions of the air passages in
either the throat or the nose.
Causes of Central Sleep Apnea
central sleep apnea, the pauses in breathing are actually caused by
the brain not sending
signals to the body to tell it to breathe. When
this happens, the individual usually wakes up for a short period of
time and gasps for a few breaths before falling back to sleep. Once
back asleep, breathing may return to normal for a period of time, or
the pauses may begin again almost immediately.
Basically speaking, the causes
of central sleep apnea normally have something to do
with the brainstem,
which connects the brain to the rest of the body and is responsible for
controlling the majority of vital body functions, including
sort of damage to the spinal cord, brain, or brainstem can manifest
itself in central sleep apnea. Another common cause of central sleep
apnea is heart problems,
such as congestive heart failure or a heart
attack. In addition, strokes are another cause of central sleep
there are also temporary forms of central sleep apnea brought
on by medication or certain conditions. Taking opiates can
form of central sleep apnea while the person is under the influence of
the medication. You can even experience a form of central sleep apnea
if you remain above 15,000 feet above sea level for a long period of
Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
central sleep apnea, the cause of obstructive sleep apnea
relates to an obstruction
in the throat or nose, which makes it
difficult or impossible for a person to breathe. Their breathing will
pause for a short period of time (between 5 and 30 seconds on average)
until the person wakes up and starts breathing normally again.
the person is completely
unaware that they even woke up. The
obstruction of the throat or nose is also what is responsible for the
loud snoring noises that almost always accompany obstructive sleep
apnea, whereas those with central sleep apnea do not always
the cause of obstructive sleep apnea is basically a blockage, the
actual restriction or obstruction can be caused by a number of other
factors, and the obstruction can be either in the throat or in the
most cases, an obstruction of the throat is due to the collapsing of
the soft tissue at the back of the mouth and throat,
tongue, uvula, and soft palate. One of the most common causes of
obstructive sleep apnea caused by a blockage in the throat (and also
one of the most curable) is being
is a clear connection between sleep
apnea and weight loss. When
are overweight, your muscles will collapse more and excess fat in your
neck and face can press into your throat and cause it to not open as
far as it would otherwise.
it could also be that a person has an
or a bigger than average
tongue, and this can also cause
them to collapse back into the throat and cause a blockage.
blockages are typically much worse when a person sleeps on their back,
as this is when the soft tissue is most likely to fall back and block
the throat. Either sleeping
on your side or losing
weight are both good
options for reducing obstructive sleep apnea.
those with a blockage of the nose, there are several different
factors that could be responsible. One of the most common of these is a
septum, which can severely restrict the amount of airflow
can pass through the nostrils.
could be caused by a genetic or
birth defect, or also a result of a broken nose. Additionally, some
people are born with smaller
than average nostrils or nasal passages,
and this again has the effect of not allowing an adequate amount of air
to pass through.
many people also suffer from temporary
blockages of the nostrils and nasal passages due to allergies,
common cold, or any other inflammation of the nasal passages.
those with a deviated septum or some other defect which is causing
their sleep apnea, one of the most common ways to solve this problem is
surgical procedure to correct the defect. While a simple
inflammation can be cleared up with the use of an antihistamine or
other cold or flu medications, or even the use of a humidifier.
to the Snoring