OSA is thought to be a disease where the back of the throat is smaller than normal, which can then cause it to collapse easily whilst sleeping. The upper airway muscles, which hold the throat open, do not work properly in people with Sleep Apnea. The brain sends messages when to breathe and sometimes the breathing pattern during sleep can be abnormal in Sleep Apnea sufferers.
Studies indicate that not all people with Sleep Apnea are diagnosed with all or the same causes listed above. Sleep Apnea medical professionals and researchers are continuing to discover ways to personalize treatments to address to the underlying cause or causes. The treatment of Sleep Apnea is unique to each patient depending on the underlying causes.
How do you know if you have OSA?
Sleep Apnea sufferers often complain of snoring and being tired during the day. Often the symptoms are not obvious. Subtle forms of Sleep Apnea are fairly common and sufferers who have certain medical conditions can be at a higher risk. Sleep Apnea patients at high risk include those who are elderly, women after menopause, or who are obese. Patients who suffer from diabetes, sickle cell disease, and those with heart or lung disease (such as asthma, emphysema or COPD) may be at special risk. If you think you might have sleep apnea, you should talk to your closest sleep clinic. A simple sleep study can be done to make a diagnosis.
Will my Sleep Apnea ever go away?
Sleep Apnea is considered a lifelong condition, although there have been reported cases in which OSA has improved or gone away permanently. Obesity is a major contributor to Sleep Apnea. Weight loss has been shown to lead to improvement in Sleep Apnea. Another situation in which apnea can improve or go away is in people with large tonsils that are blocking airflow in the throat. Removal of tonsils has been shown to improve Sleep Apnea. Generally, removal of tonsils is not sufficient to treat OSA in adults.