A lot of people do not even know that they have this disorder until it becomes too severe that they develop other serious types of health conditions that stemmed from this particular form of sleep ailment.
Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by disruption of breathing when a person is asleep.
These interruptions in breathing cause a person to develop or have abnormal blood oxygen levels.
This type of sleep disorder has been linked to various ailments such as high blood pressure, heart disease, memory loss, obesity, stroke and insulin resistance - a condition that precedes type 2 diabetes.
To overcome this disorder, doctors and sleep specialists will recommend and prescribe various types of treatments.
These treatment options include mouthpieces, breathing devices, surgery and some lifestyle changes.
Basically, the main goal of sleep apnea treatment is to reestablish the patient's regular breathing during sleep and get rid of symptoms such as loud snoring and sleepiness during the daytime.
There are certain factors that can aggravate sleep apnea that you should know about to avoid acquiring this condition or prevent it from becoming worse.
These factors include the following: Weight gain.
Additional weight can bulk up tissues in and around the airway and as such, makes it more vulnerable to collapse as muscles relax during sleep.
Studies also show that heavier people tend to have thicker necks, which can also be a factor, in developing sleep apnea.
When you gain weight, the excess soft fat tissue can thicken the wall of the windpipe and narrows the inside of the windpipe, which makes it harder to keep open.
You then develop this nighttime breathing disorder.
Certain types of medications.
Some prescription medications have also been known to aggravate sleep apnea.
If you're taking in some muscle relaxants, you are exposing yourself to greater snoring and sleep apnea.
Alcoholic beverages are muscle relaxants.
As such, they can slacken throat tissues more than usual when you are asleep, making your airway more vulnerable to obstruction.
Though the effects of alcohol usually dissipate as it clears the body throughout the night, cutting down your consumption of liquor may help you even more in avoiding this sleep disorder.
Smoking or cigarettes.
Cigarettes are irritants to the upper airway.
The smoke enters the throat, the uvula, the soft palate, and the tongue.
Unfortunately, prolonged smoking can cause these areas to swell or inflamed.
Your normal or common sleep position.
Finally, sleeping on your back makes sleep apnea worse, and sleeping on your side makes it better.
This is because your sleep position affects how and where your body weight falls on the airway.