One of the most common risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is obesity. In OSA there is a blockage of the airway during sleep. This blockage if usually from the tongue or soft tissue of the neck. Approximately 70 % of adults are considered overweight or obese. Thus, it is not a surprise that cases of obstructive sleep apnea are on the rise in our country.
Why Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Occur?
Obstructive sleep apnea is defined as the partial or complete blockage of the airway throughout the night. OSA can cause hundreds of interruptions of sleep, causing the brain to send emergency signals to wake up and resume oxygen flow. The most common cause of obstruction is excessive tissue in the neck. In fact, patients with large neck circumferences are more likely to experience blockage as these muscles relax during sleep. Patients who are overweight or obese are at an elevated risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Patients who are overweight are much more prone to have obstructive sleep apnea. The signs you or a loved one are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Chronic, loud, disruptive snoring
- Morning headache
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking up in the morning
- Constant fatigue or exhaustion, even after a full night’s sleep
- Morning chest pain
- Difficulty concentrating during the day
- Memory problems
Do delay in seeking treatment for sleep apnea from a qualified professional. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious heart complications and even, in the most extreme cases, premature death. Call our Pasadena Texas Sleep Apnea office at 832-487-0647 or visit us at 3421 Burke Rd #1, Pasadena, Texas 77504.