What Causes Sleep Apnoea?
In many cases, an apnoea, or temporary pause in breathing, is caused by the tissue in the back of the throat collapsing over the airway. The muscles of the upper airways relax when you fall asleep. If you sleep on your back, gravity can cause the tongue to fall back. This narrows the airway, which reduces the amount of air that can reach your lungs. The narrowed airway causes snoring by making the tissue in the back of the throat vibrate as you breathe.
Sleep apnoea can make you wake up in the morning feeling tired or unrefreshed even though you have had a full night of sleep. During the day, you may feel fatigued, have difficulty concentrating or you may even unintentionally, fall asleep due to lack of deep rem sleep during the night. The lack of oxygen your body receives can have negative long-term consequences for your health. This includes: High blood pressure, Heart disease, Stroke, Pre-diabetes and diabetes and Depression.
There are many people with sleep apnoea who have not been diagnosed or received treatment. A sleep medicine physician can diagnose obstructive sleep apnoea using an in-lab sleep study or a home sleep test. Sleep apnoea is manageable using Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), the front-line treatment for sleep apnoea, oral appliance therapy or surgery.
More complex surgical procedures can adjust your bone structures including the jaw, nose and facial bones. This involves planned Orthognathic Surgery.