Sleep Apnea can be extremely dangerous if ignored, hence to be able to treat this sleep disorder properly, it is important to understand and know what causes sleep apnea. To put in simple terms, sleep apnea is a disorder that affects breathing while one is asleep. It often results in the pause of airflow numerous times while sleeping, and hence results in reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood, which can prove to be detrimental to your health. However on majority of occasions, sleep apnea goes unnoticed and hence is ignored, which surely must be avoided. Hence to avoid ignoring what could be dangerous, the following sections throw light on what causes sleep apnea.
Sleep Apnea is considered to be of three types, hence it will be easier to understand what causes sleep apnea we need to consider each of these types of sleep apnea separately.
What Causes Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Out of the three types, this type is considered to be the most common. When some obstruction inhibits the muscles at the back of the throat to breathe freely, the body suffers from a drop in oxygen levels due to inconsistent airflow. As a result, those who suffer from this type of sleep apnea are likely to wake up due to lack of air to breathe. However most do not remember any such interruption and hence believe they slept well, which could indeed be quite dangerous, as the condition will be ignored. But that leads us to the question that what causes this sleep apnea? It mainly occurs when the air passage become narrow, which mainly is a result of lying flat on your back causing the throat muscle to relax and obstruct the air passage.
What Causes Central Sleep Apnea?
This type of sleep apnea is quite rare, but often considered to be quite serious as well, as it is caused when the brain does not instruct the muscles to breathe. Hence the muscles at the back of the throat doesn’t take any action to breathe, thereby pausing the breathing process. Often when the body experiences a long term increase of carbon dioxide, the body forgets to monitor the oxygen level, and hence doesn’t send the signal for the next breath. People with cerebrovascular disease or any heart disease are prone to experiencing this type of sleep anea, and is the main culprit in what causes sleep apnea of this type.
What Causes Mixed Sleep Apnea?
The combination of the above-mentioned two types of sleep apnea is referred to as the mixed sleep apnea. There are times when both these types of sleep apnea occur alternatively in the same night, and that is what is referred to as mixed sleep apnea. With regard to what causes this type of sleep apnea – it is a combination of the obstruction in the upper airway, as well as improper breathing rhythm experienced by the patient.
If you make yourself aware of what causes sleep apnea, and the above-mentioned three types in particular, you will be in a much better position to deal with it if and when the need arises!