Obstructive sleep apnea, which is brought on by an obstruction in the airway or a deflated airway, is the most prevalent type of sleep apnea. Breathing becomes challenging when an airway is clogged, preventing air from moving easily.

Your throat muscles work to keep your airway open and rigid when you’re awake so that air can get to your lungs. Your throat narrows as a result of these muscles relaxing as you sleep. In most cases, this constriction of your throat does not obstruct the passage of air into or out of your lungs. However, if you have sleep apnea, the following factors may cause your airway to become partially or completely blocked:

  • More so than usual, your tongue and throat muscles relax.
  • The entrance to your windpipe is small in comparison to your tongue and tonsils.
  • You are overweight.
  • Your mouth and throat’s airways may be smaller due to the structure of your head and neck.
  • The brain messages that keep your throat muscles tight as you sleep are less effective as you age.

In the event that your airway is partially or completely blocked while you sleep, insufficient air will enter your lungs. In the end, you or a loved one will snore loudly and experience a decrease in blood oxygen levels.

Risk Groups for Sleep Apnea

Have you ever questioned your risk for developing sleep apnea? You’re currently in luck, though. While we’re constantly working to keep the information on our website current, we also want to make sure you have access to the knowledge you need to manage your health.

As you are aware, obstructive sleep apnea happens when the airways in the mouth, nose, or throat collapse or become obstructed. As the muscular tone lining these passageways relaxes while you’re sleeping, these airways are vulnerable to obstructions or collapsing.

Who is at Risk?

Due to extra tissue that could obstruct the airway, those who are overweight are more likely to develop sleep apnea. Overweightness affects more than half of people with sleep apnea, which is a problem that needs to be addressed. Significantly more people at risk for sleep apnea include smokers, older people, those with diabetes, and people who are overweight.

If your nose, mouth, or throat have a narrow or small profile, you may also be more prone to sleep apnea. Features along the airway can also limit the passage of oxygen due to allergies and other medical disorders. On the other hand, men tend to experience sleep apnea more frequently than women. Compared to Caucasians, it is also more prevalent among Pacific Islanders, African Americans, and Hispanics. Additionally, sleep apnea can develop after menopause and during pregnancy.