Several health conditions increase the likelihood of developing sleep apnea, but OSA is most common in people who are overweight or obese2. Excess weight creates fat deposits in a person’s neck called pharyngeal fat. Pharyngeal fat can block a person’s upper airway during sleep when the airway is already relaxed.
Do you have to be overweight to have sleep apnea?
Anyone can develop obstructive sleep apnea. However, certain factors put you at increased risk, including: Excess weight. Most but not all people with obstructive sleep apnea are overweight.
Can you be normal weight and have sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea occurs in about 3 percent of normal weight individuals but affects over 20 percent of obese people, Jun says. In general, sleep apnea affects men more than women.
Can a fit person have sleep apnea?
“Age, obesity, deconditioning: These are what most people associate with apnea,” she says. “But the reality of it is, the physical characteristics associated with optimal performance in certain sports can also predispose athletes to sleep apnea.”
How do you develop sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles that support the soft tissues in your throat, such as your tongue and soft palate, temporarily relax. When these muscles relax, your airway is narrowed or closed, and breathing is momentarily cut off. This occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax.
Will sleep apnea go away if I lose weight?
If overweight and obese people lose weight, it would make both sleep apnea and other health problems [such as heart disease] go away. Losing just 10% of body weight can have a big effect on sleep apnea symptoms. In some cases, losing a significant amount of weight can even cure the condition.
How can I fix sleep apnea naturally?
Sleep apnea lifestyle remedies
- Maintain a healthy weight. Doctors commonly recommend people with sleep apnea to lose weight. …
- Try yoga. Regular exercise can increase your energy level, strengthen your heart, and improve sleep apnea. …
- Alter your sleep position. …
- Use a humidifier. …
- Avoid alcohol and smoking. …
- Use oral appliances.
What is the life expectancy of someone with sleep apnea?
Those who have suffered from sleep apnea for up to 5 years have a 30% jump in their risk of suffering a heart attack or dying, according to a Yale University study. The level of severity of your sleep apnea increases your risk for either a heart attack or death.
What are the warning signs of sleep apnea?
But they may include:
- Loud snoring. …
- Waking up with a very sore or dry throat. …
- Dry mouth, also caused by mouth breathing.
- Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation.
- Restless sleep, repeated awakenings, or insomnia.
- Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day, even after a full night’s sleep.
How much does sleep apnea shorten your life?
If left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can shorten your life from anywhere between 12-15 years. While there is no permanent cure for obstructive sleep apnea, proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary to alleviate its effects and to ensure that your OSA won’t shorten your life.
What foods cause sleep apnea?
High-Fat Dairy Items
Just like bananas, unfortunately dairy products with a high fat content can increase your body’s mucus production. Also, weight gain is a leading risk factor of sleep apnea, which can be caused by eating too much high-fat dairy.
What is the main cause of sleep apnea?
In adults, the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea is excess weight and obesity, which is associated with the soft tissue of the mouth and throat. During sleep, when throat and tongue muscles are more relaxed, this soft tissue can cause the airway to become blocked.
What are the 3 types of sleep apnea?
The Greek word “apnea” literally means “without breath.” There are three types of sleep apnea: obstructive, central, and mixed. Of the three, obstructive sleep apnea, often called OSA for short, is the most common.
What does sleep apnea look like?
Sleep Apnea Signs: Snoring, Gasping, Sleepiness
Loud, persistent snoring. Pauses in breathing, accompanied with gasping episodes when sleeping. Excessive sleepiness during waking hours.
What sleep position is best for sleep apnea?
Side sleeping is the preferred position for helping calm your sleep apnea. Sleeping on your right side reduces snoring and encourages blood flow.
How do you fix sleep apnea?
For milder cases of obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes:
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Exercise regularly.
- Drink alcohol moderately, if at all, and don’t drink several hours before bedtime.
- Quit smoking.
- Use a nasal decongestant or allergy medications.
- Don’t sleep on your back.