Sleep Apnea is a serious medical condition that can hinder your life drastically if you leave it untreated. Sleep Apnea exists for a number of reasons. Genetics can play a major role in sleep apnea just as much as our lifestyle can cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) to exist.
We cannot prevent sleep apnea from occurring for whom are genetically predisposed to it due to craniofacial* complex; but we can help those who develop this very common sleep disorder throughout their life due to poor lifestyle decisions. About half of the people who have this condition are overweight. Therefore, preventing sleep apnea is a matter of making smart healthy life choices.
Some of the things you can do to reduce risks of sleep apnea symptoms include maintaining a healthy weight. People who are obese a generally more susceptible to developing sleep apnea because the excess fat puts added weight and pressure on the throat, neck, soft palate and jaw muscles. This will cause a blockage of the airway. Regular exercise will not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it is good for your heart and your brain.
Other lifestyle habits that contribute to developing sleep apnea is smoking as it increases inflammation and fluid retention in your throat and upper airway. Excessive alcohol, sleeping pills and sedatives all relaxes the muscle in the throat and interfere with breathing. Finally, having good sleep hygiene will help with your everyday life and sleep apnea. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule will help reduce anxiety and allow for restful sleep.
*Craniofacial complex is mostly inherited (excluding those who endure traumatic accidents). It is the composition of the
face, skull and oral cavities, which are significant genetic determinants of OSA. In many craniofacial syndromes, unusual
features involve the nose, mouth and jaw or resting muscle tone. These features please an individual at risk for OSA.