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What Are Sleep Apnea Causes?

Nov 8, 2007
If you have been sleeping and suddenly you wake up because you cannot breathe, you probably have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea happens when air cannot get into your lungs when you are sleeping. Either your throat stays open and air cannot inhale or your throat will temporary collapse causing you to wake up without breath. This is a scary experience and can cause loss of sleep unless controlled. The sleep apnea usually happens when you are lying on your back, but there have been some cases where it can happen in any sleeping position.

What are some sleep apnea causes? One cause of sleep apnea is when your throat or tongue muscles relax more than normal. If you are sleeping on your back, your throat muscle could relax enough so that your mouth is agape. This will cause your tongue to relax also. Your tongue can slip upwards and backwards inside your mouth and cause you to stop breathing. You will awake gasping for air and feel like you have not breathed in awhile. If this is the cause of your sleep apnea, you could try not to sleep on your back. Sleep on your side or stomach. This could allow you to get a good night's sleep.

Your tonsils or adenoids being to large is another sleep apnea cause. Surgery is the best treatment if this is your problem, but ask your doctor before you make this decision. Uvulopalatopharryngoplasty is the name of the surgery that removes your tonsils or your uvula. Open your mouth and look into the mirror. The soft piece of tissue is your uvula. Run your finger in your mouth and feel the soft tissue around the uvula. That is another section that can be removed from your mouth so that it will not cover your bronchial tubes while sleeping. This surgery may not help all people with sleep apnea, but it can help some.

Another of the sleep apnea causes is that you are overweight. When you gain weight, you gain weight everywhere. Even the soft tissue in your mouth and at the back of your throat can have fatty deposits that can collapse and block your breathing while you are sleeping. You can get a mouth piece fitted and use this device is you have mild sleep apnea, the mouth piece will keep your tongue down and position your jaw so that the you will be able to breathe properly and get a good nights sleep.

The final cause for sleep apnea causes is that the size of your skull and neck bones is shaped in such a way that when you lie down the bones will force the muscles to close over the throat and your peaceful night's sleep will be ruined. You can ask your doctor to have a continuous airway device prescribed for you. This is an air mask that you wear while you sleep to keep fresh air going into your throat and lungs. This is for extreme cases of sleep apnea, and it could become quite costly.
About the Author
Do you suffer from sleep apnea? Our site focuses on sleep apnea treatments and symptoms. by T. D. Houser.
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