Causes Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

What Are The Causes Of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a state wherein there is sudden stopping of the person’s reflex for breathing. When not given with much attention, this can be life threatening to the involved person. Knowing the causes of obstructive sleep apnea will help a lot in terms of the modification of factors that will enhance its intensity.

There are certain causes of sleep apnea that can actually be given with non-pharmacologic treatments. On the other hand, there are also some that must be given with medical attention. The bottom line here is that you must be aware of the causes of obstructive sleep apnea.

What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Obstructive sleep apnea is also called as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome or OSA. This is referred to as the most ordinary sleep apnea type. This is usually associated with breathing pauses that is reiterative. When there is decrease in the effectiveness of breathing, this may decrease the oxygen saturation in the system of person affected. It is said that the person affected with this condition is aware of its presence. If you notice, the person affected with the condition snores when he is asleep.

Pathophysiology of Throat Muscle Relaxation

It is said that the main cause of obstructive sleep apnea is rooted to the anatomical problems of the affected person. Particularly, the smooth muscles at the back part of the throat are relaxed. The main function of these groups of muscles is to supply support to the soft palate. By the time that the muscles in this part are relaxed, the tendency is that the person's airway closes and becomes narrower. Once this happens, a person's breathing will suddenly stop. Once breathing is in state of transitory stopping, it may decrease the oxygen saturation in your body. When the brain already sensed this, it will send a message back to the medulla oblongata (respiratory center of the brain) to initiate breathing. The person will be transitorily awake and sometimes gets into sleep again without noticing what happened.

Craniofacial Syndrome

Another probable root cause of obstructive sleep apnea is craniofacial syndromes. This is a condition where there are facial features that are unusual to the person affected. The root cause of these craniofacial syndromes are said to be genetics. Specifically, the abnormality that hinders the proper execution of the process of breathing involves structural differences in:

  • Nose
  • Jaw
  • Mouth
  • Resting tone of muscles

Pharyngeal Flap Surgery

If there are inborn causes of obstructive sleep apnea, there are also some causes that are derived from undergoing some operations like pharyngeal flap surgery. When the operation is done, there will be possibility of alteration in the respiration of the one involved, especially when sleeping. But one must not worry of this because the obstruction in the airway is just temporary. Once an individual has already recovered from the condition, the obstructive sleep apnea is resolved. Yet, the severity of the condition varies and it can be as intense well.

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