The Most Common Causes of Sleep Apnea According To Its Types
The Most Common Causes of Sleep Apnea According To Its Types

The Most Common Causes of Sleep Apnea According To Its Types : Sleeping is a requirement for our bodies to recharge. But what if during the time you sleep, you snore loudly? Is it normal, or does it needs immediate attention?

Have you heard about dental sleep apnea treatment? A sleep disorder affects your normal breathing rhythms—breathing stops and starts. Often, it triggers loud snoring, which is different from the regular one. This condition needs immediate attention because it carries underlying health issues or may cause serious ailments such as heart trouble or hypertension.

You must read this article to understand sleep apnea better, especially its symptoms.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

It is a serious sleeping disorder that has grown into a life-threatening problem. Many medical professionals are working harder to find the right sleep apnea treatment.

Sleep apnea is associated with snores. At first glance, it appears unalarming, but it is! Because this condition obstructs oxygen flow to your heart, brain, and body. Some vital organs in your body could be adversely affected.

Types of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea has three types that you must know to address them accordingly.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

It is the most common sleep disorder caused by repetitive blocked airways during sleep, whether it be partially or completely. The triggering factor is the collapsed soft tissue in the back of the throat. In this situation, your diaphragm and chest muscles struggle harder to open the airways.

At times, you breathe with a loud gasp or jerk your body. It results in the lowering of oxygen distribution to the vital body organs. As a result, you will experience abnormal heart rhythms.

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

This type of sleep apnea has nothing to do with your airways but with the brain stem. It fails to instruct your muscles to breathe because of the existing problems in the respiratory control centre. You experience this if you have neuromuscular diseases (muscle weakness). Incidences like stroke, kidney disease, and heart failure are also associated with central sleep apnea.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome

This is caused by both obstructive and central sleep apnea. Doctors call it treatment-emergent central sleep apnea.

Most Common Causes

As discussed earlier, some types of sleep apnea pinpoint the main causes.

To go into detail, here is the list of the most common causes.



As you grow older, the chances of developing sleep apnea increase. The earlier it gets treated, the lesser the chance of experiencing dementia.


Males often develop this sleep disorder, particularly during the early adulthood phase.

Head and neck anatomy

OSA is common in people with larger tongues and shorter lower jaws. These anatomical features tend to obstruct the flow of air during sleep which causes loud snoring.

Body weight

OSA is also caused by having a higher Body Mass Index (BMI) — overweight or obesity. Fat deposits in the upper respiratory tract and pharyngeal fat reduce muscle activity, eventually creating breathing issues or blocking the airway.

Cigarette smoking

A person who smokes is three times more likely than nonsmokers to have OSA. It causes swelling in the nose and throat, resulting in restricted airways.

Hormone abnormalities

An underactive thyroid or a profused growth hormone production is an OSA risk factor. It triggers swelling near the airways and contributes to a higher body mass index.

Sleeping position

Sleeping on your back regularly can lead to OSA because it affects the shape and position of the tissues surrounding the airway.

Family history

The inherent anatomical features in the head and neck will likely make the person develop OSA. About 40% are likely to inherit this disorder which means it can be hereditary, while 60% depend on their lifestyle.

Nasal condition

If you have difficulty breathing through the nose, there is a higher chance of having OSA. Sleep apnea may be doubled if it becomes chronic nasal congestion during nighttime.

Alcohol and medications

These are associated with the risk of developing OSA. Alcohol causes faulty breathing patterns because it affects the airway, especially in its upper parts — nose, sinuses, voice box, and throat.

Medications like sedatives make the muscles in the throat relaxed. Such a way tends to worsen sleep apnea.


The risk factors of CSA are usually a result of infection or injury that has direct adverse effects on the brain stem. In separate cases, it is also caused by the following:


CSA takes place when you are over 65 years old. The breathing disruptions are frequent and consistent. If unaddressed, sleep apnea will be a contributing factor to dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.


Males are the most affected compared to females due to their levels of sex hormones called aldosterone. Hormones and sleep apnea are strongly linked together.

Opioid drug

It causes breathing issues (irregular or reduced breathing patterns) that may lead to the development of CSA.

High altitudes

Staying at places in high altitudes, over 6000 ft, may cause CSA because of the decreased oxygen level.

Sleep Apnea Treatment

Sleep apnea can be treated except for hereditary issues. Family history or inherited anatomical features paves less chance of fixing it. But if acquired or situational, the earlier it is addressed, the better. Home remedies can be applied. If it has to do with positioning during sleep, altering it helps to reduce the risks.

In the case of loud snoring, seeking dental assistance is highly recommended. Some dentists specialize in treating snores and sleep apnea.


Sleep apnea is not an ordinary sleep disorder. It has to do with breathing issues and oxygen distribution. As we know, our bodily organs need sufficient oxygen to keep them functional. If you experience frequent sleep awakenings accompanied by faulty breathing patterns, it can scale up to alarming health complications. Sleep apnea must be treated before it gets worse and becomes fatal.



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The Most Common Causes of Sleep Apnea According To Its Types

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