Causes of sleep apnea and the importance of addressing the underlying cause

Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that affects the breathing system. As such, one has frequent long pauses while breathing. What this implies is that there are moments there will be inadequate or lack of oxygen circulating in the brain and the body. This condition requires treatment. If the underlying cause of sleep apnea is no addressed it may result to some health complications or even fatalities. In some cases, sleep apnea may lead to death. Listed below are some causes of sleep apnea.

Major categories of sleep apnea

Sleep apnea can be categorized into three broad classes. Obstructive sleep apneasleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and mixed sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea results due to throat muscle relaxation or collapse when one is sleeping. On the other hand, central sleep apnea emanates from central nervous system complications. Mixed sleep apnea presents due to recurrent obstructive sleep apnea that resorts to central sleep apnea.

Causes of sleep apnea


This is a leading cause of sleep apnea. Ideally, obesity is characterized by excessive accumulation of fat issues along the body. In case these fatty tissues align themselves along the lungs, they obstruct air passage. In return, this makes it difficult to breathe. In some instances, accumulation of fats may completely block air passage channels leading to frequent apnea events or even death. It is also unfortunate that sleep apnea increases the chances of one becoming obese.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux results when the esophageal tissue is damaged by acidic juices coming from the stomach. In extreme cases, this can completely destroy the oesophageal tissue and the voice box. If this condition is untreated, it may result in scars within the throat. Consequently, this deters the smooth flow of air as the airways are blocked. Thus, this increases the chances of suffering from sleep apnea.


AsthmaThis is another top cause of sleep apnea. When one is sleeping asthmatic, an attack may result to convolutions of air passageways. Normally, this leads to the collapse of the airways hence causing sleep apnea. Additionally, individuals suffering from allergic reactions may have throat inflammations, which is also a fertile ground for sleep apnea.

Unhealthy lifestyle

Unhealthy lifestyle such as alcohol consumption and smoking may also contribute to sleep apnea. These practices lead to relaxation of the throat muscle that makes it difficult to breathe while resting. Furthermore, alcohol consumption may lead to acid reflux related heartburns that may contribute to sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea is common among drug addicts.