Sleep apnea is a very common sleep-related breathing disorder with many associated risk factors. Both sleep apnea and obesity negatively affect millions of people’s lives. In today’s blog, we will share with you how sleep apnea and obesity are closely related and what treatment options are available.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing stops and restarts frequently throughout the night. This is a potentially dangerous disorder because it can interfere with oxygen levels in the body and can cause daytime sleepiness, cardiovascular problems, and can lead to other medical conditions. There are three types of sleep apnea; obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), central sleep apnea (CSA), and complex sleep apnea. OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea.
Relation Between Sleep Apnea and Obesity
How Obesity Can Cause Sleep Apnea
- Obesity is most correlated with obstructed sleep apnea (OSA) because obesity can cause pharyngeal fat, which are fat deposits in the neck. These fat deposits can cause blockages in the airway, which can disrupt breathing while asleep and increase the risk of developing OSA. Obesity can also compress the chest wall which could cause the airway to collapse while asleep.
How Sleep Apnea Can Lead to Obesity
- While obesity is a risk factor associated with sleep apnea, lack of quality sleep caused by sleep apnea can cause weight gain and lead to obesity. Inadequate amounts of sleep can lead to increased amounts of appetite-stimulating hormones in the body and can lead to weight gain. Lack of quality sleep can also lead to daytime sleepiness and can affect energy levels throughout the day, resulting in less physical activity during the day.
Dietary and Lifestyle Changes
- Dietary and lifestyle changes can significantly reduce many symptoms caused by sleep apnea. Weight loss can help reduce fat deposits in the neck, allow for less compression on the chest wall, and can increase energy levels throughout the day.
Sleep Apnea Treatments
- There are many sleep apnea treatments available such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP therapy), tongue stabilizing devices, and surgery. Sleep apnea treatments can effectively reduce many symptoms including daytime sleepiness, mood and behavior, quality of sleep, and more.
Obesity and sleep apnea are closely linked and can both negatively affect your quality of sleep. If you or a loved one is experiencing sleep apnea symptoms, consider getting a sleep test done to receive a correct diagnosis and look at available treatment options. To learn more about our sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment services, visit our website or contact our team today!