Causes of sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is quite common and touches the lives of about 2-4% of adult population. In the medical world, it is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which means that that person cannot breathe due to obstruction while sleeping. This obstruction happens because of certain anatomical changes in the throat like(2);
- In some people throat muscles and tongue relax more than normal while sleeping, this is especially true if a person is extremely tired, or relaxed due to sedation or alcohol.
- Tonsils and tongue in a person are larger as compared to the windpipe.
- A person is obese or overweight, adding few pounds may also affect the shape of the neck, making the windpipe narrower.
Certain disease conditions or age may weaken the ability to keep the throat or tongue at right place while sleeping.