Factors That Worsen Sleep Apnea

Posted on 08/08/2018
This is the image for the news article titled

If you’ve struggled with snoring in Manahawkin, New Jersey and received a sleep apnea diagnosis, you’re probably eager to learn all you can about your condition. You may be familiar with the basics, but how much do you know about the factors that worsen your symptoms? Our overview of sleep apnea can help you build your knowledge base:

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a disorder that results in repeated episodes of airway blockage while a person is sleeping. Relaxed throat muscles leave the airway vulnerable to collapse or tongue obstruction, which can stop air flow for 10 or more seconds at a time. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to detrimental health-related consequences — even death in severe cases.

Possible Reasons for Increased Symptoms

When your snoring becomes louder or you’re feeling more fatigued than usual, one of the following factors may be worsening your sleep apnea.

  • Alcohol consumption: Alcoholic drinks relax the tongue and throat muscles, making them susceptible to airway blockage while you sleep.
  • Anatomical challenges: A deviated septum, narrow airway or enlarged tonsils and adenoids can cause or worsen sleep apnea.
  • Poor sleep hygiene: Lack of healthy bedtime routines and quality rest can lead your muscles to relax more deeply during subsequent sleep.
  • Prescription medication use: Muscle relaxants, painkillers and sleeping pills can further compromise breathing and lengthen your sleep apnea episodes.
  • Sleeping position: Back sleeping positions cause the tongue to fall toward your airway, which leads to breathing obstructions.
  • Smoking: Cigarettes irritate your airway and cause soft tissues to swell, triggering new or worse sleep apnea symptoms.
  • Underlying medical conditions: High blood pressure and diabetes elevate your cardiovascular risk, which is associated with sleep apnea development.
  • Weight gain: Obesity increases bulk around the airway and causes further collapse of relaxed throat muscles during sleep.

Schedule a follow-up appointment with a sleep specialist, primary care physician or dentist to determine if you need additional treatment for any of these factors.

How Federici Dental Can Help

At Federici Dental, we’re committed to educating our patients on health issues that affect more than just their teeth. Whether you have a new diagnosis or you’re currently receiving sleep apnea treatment in Manahawkin, New Jersey, we can answer your questions and provide solutions.

Contact us today at (609) 597-1234 to schedule a consultation and discuss options.