Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Causes and Treatments

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Causes and Treatments

Feb 02, 2022

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a breathing sleep-related disorder. It is caused by collapsing of the upper air path repetitively during sleep. OSA happens when the muscles of the soft tissues in your throat, such as the soft palate or tongue, relax. It causes the narrowing or closing of the air pathway, interrupting the normal airflow.

When having an OSA episode, the chest muscles and the diaphragm increases the pressure needed to open the airway. Breathing will then resume with a body jerk or loud gasp. OSA can reduce oxygen flow to vital organs or lead to heart rhythm irregularities.

What are the Causes of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

Collapsing or blocking of the air passage is caused by various factors, they are:

  • Nasal congestion. It is due to infections or allergies that inflames or irritates the nasal tissues. In addition, irritants such as car exhaust or tobacco smoke can lead to nasal congestion.
  • Lax muscles or other tissues in the throat or mouth
  • Underlying neurological conditions such as parkinsonism, myasthenia gravis, or myotonic dystrophy
  • Excess weight. A large number of people with OSA have excess weight. Fat deposits surrounding the upper airway obstruct breathing. Medical conditions associated with obesity can also cause obstructive sleep disorder. They include; polycystic ovary syndrome or hypothyroidism.
  • Narrowed air passages. Narrowed passages can be genetically inherited. Enlarged adenoids or tonsils can also block your air passage.

Some of these factors can result from obesity, thyroid issues, swollen tonsils, genetic factors, and heart or kidney complications.

Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea can present a series of negative impacts on your daily activities. For example, OSA can lower energy levels and cause drowsiness throughout the day. Visit a sleep apnea specialist in Laguna Beach if you notice some of the following symptoms.

  • Insomnia associated with frequent awakenings or sleep restlessness
  • Snoring that may even be loud enough to wake those sleeping next to you
  • Headaches during the morning hours
  • Lack or low concentration levels
  • Cognitive deficits and mood changes such as irritability or depression
  • Night sweats
  • Suddenly waking up with gasping and choking sensations
  • Low libido
  • Having a sore throat or dry mouth every morning. This is due to breathing through your mouth for the best part of the night.

Treatments Available for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

There are different and effective obstructive sleep apnea treatment options at Laguna Family Dentistry. One may require an ongoing treatment option to control the symptoms. The treatment options focus on eliminating or reducing the number of breathing pauses you experience when sleeping.

Benefits expected after using OSA treatment options include;

  • Having more energy, being less sleepy, and feeling better both physically and mentally
  • You will start enjoying things you used to find difficult such as staying awake to watch films
  • You can now drive safely without being affected by sleepiness

Obstructive sleep apnea treatment options will also depend on the severity of the cases. Some of these treatments include;


Oral Device

Oral devices are used on people with mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnea in Laguna Beach. They are an alternative treatment for people with severe OSA and cannot use CPAP. The oral devices are designed to keep the throat open. They open up the throat by pushing the lower jaw forward. This relieves snoring and reduces sleepiness during the day, improving your life quality. Visit a dentist near you to explore this form of treatment.

Positive Airway Pressure

This type of treatment uses a machine that delivers air pressure through apiece fitted in or over your nose and mouth. The positive airway pressure deducts the number of respiratory events occurring while sleeping.

Surgical Procedures

A sleep apnea specialist near you will recommend surgical treatment when other treatment options have been ineffective. Some of the surgical options include:

  • Jaw surgery. The procedure involves moving the upper and lower parts of the jaws forward. This enlarges the space behind the soft palate and the tongue.
  • Nasal surgery. It is done to remove the partition between the nostrils
  • Tissue removal. Which involves the removal of tissues from the top of your throat and back of your mouth.

Sleep Strips

Interested in improving your quality of sleep? Try our Sleep Strips! They help you improve the quality of your sleep through nasal breathing.

Purchase Sleep Strips