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5 Common Causes of Sleep Apnea

No sleep

Obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, is a widespread disorder that affects tens of thousands of people in the US. When a person has obstructive sleep apnea, their airway narrows or closes during sleep, limiting or eliminating the ability to take in oxygen. This lack of oxygen can result in a faster start and stop of breathing and interrupted sleep during the night. If left untreated, this can be a significant health problem.

If you're concerned about the possibility of acquiring sleep apnea, it's critical to learn about the causes and how to avoid them.

Causes of Sleep Apnea

Obesity

Obese people are more prone to suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. Obesity can cause OSA, but it can also be the outcome of untreated OSA. Because there is more pressure on the airways when overweight, it might be harder to breathe at night. If you have OSA due to a different cause, you may grow obese if you do not seek treatment. When you don't get enough sleep, your body reacts differently; for some, this is an unhealthy weight gain. According to several studies, the reason for this is that OSA lowers the effects of leptin, a fat-burning hormone in the body.

Genetics

If one or more family members have a sleep issue, their children are more likely to develop one. This connection could be related to the neck's anatomical structure, but there are also other genetic aspects to consider. Cleft lip and palate and Down syndrome are examples of disorders that may cause OSA because they affect the facial bones and tongue. The airway must be clear and unobstructed for the respiratory system to function correctly.

Endocrine Disturbances

Endocrine abnormalities, notably hypothyroidism and acromegaly, have been linked to sleep apnea. Both can affect hormone levels and neck form.

Gender and Age

Unfortunately, older people are more likely to suffer from a sleeping disorder. Because the brain cannot relax the muscles while sleeping, the upper airways tighten. A balanced diet and exercise, as well as keeping your mind fresh, are the best ways to avoid this.

Substances Associated with a Healthy Lifestyle

Smoking causes edema in the upper airway and irritation in the throat, thus exacerbating OSA symptoms. Some research has revealed that those with untreated sleep apnea are more likely to acquire a smoking habit. This could be due to the tension brought on by a lack of sleep. Alcohol is also a risk factor due to its ability to relax muscles in the throat.

How to Avoid Sleep Apnea

Although there isn't always a method to prevent obstructive sleep apnea, taking steps to take care of yourself is at the heart of all health-risk prevention. These steps entail both a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine. Your doctor can provide specific suggestions based on your age and weight, but following these lifestyle habits, in general, can make a big difference:

  • Tobacco and alcohol consumption should be reduced or eliminated.
  • Yoga, resistance training, or aerobics should all be done regularly.
  • Before going to bed, don't eat or drink anything heavy.
  • Small meals are recommended to meet the dietary pyramid's criteria.

Find Sleep Apnea Relief in WashingtonDr. Buck is a facial orthopedist based in the state of Washington. Through teamwork and combining their expertise, Dr. Buck and his fellow ENT physicians and pulmonologists help their patients find relief from sleep apnea. With Dr. Buck and his team, you can find relief from the severity and alleviate symptoms from sleep breathing issues. For more information on Dr. Buck's practice and the treatment options he provides, please schedule an appointment by giving us a call today at 206-316-8286. Additionally, one may contact us by filling out our online form.
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Epigenetic Orthodontics

Epigenetic Orthodontics can open and protect the airway enhancing breathing both during sleep and awake activities.

Dr. Buck practices a philosophy that integrates airway into all diagnosis and treatments. Dentistry has traditionally not considered the airway when planning dental treatments. Fortunately, today there is a rapidly growing movement that now recognizes how dentistry can have an impact on the airway which affects breathing during sleep. If dental treatments, including TMJ, orthopedic and orthodontics are well planned the result can be that the airway is protected or even enhanced. There is a clear link between underdeveloped and retruded jaws together with narrow dental arches that puts a patient at risk for sleep breathing disorders.

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Airway Improvement

WOW! A 54% decrease in forward head posture; 164% increase in the antero-posterior size of the airway; 176% increase in the lateral size of the airway all from epigenetically centered jaw development orthopedics. This is the future of orthodontics!​
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