Sleep Apnea & Obesity in Las Vegas
Obesity is the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea, the condition that occurs due to a blockage of the airway during sleep. Considering the fact that about 65 percent of adults are considered overweight or obese, it is not a surprise that cases of obstructive sleep apnea are on the rise in our country. Also troublesome is the fact that more children are exhibiting the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea than ever before.
Why Does Obstructive Sleep Apnea Occur?
Obstructive sleep apnea is classified as the partial or complete blockage of the airway throughout the night. It can cause hundreds of interruptions of sleep, causing the brain to send emergency signals to resume oxygen flow. The sufferer will jerk awake as a result.
What causes the blockage? The most common cause is excessive tissue in the neck -- and people with large neck circumferences are likely to experience blockage as these muscles relax during sleep. Children and adults who are overweight or obese are at an increased risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea.
Signs You Are Dealing with Sleep Apnea
Patients who are overweight are far more likely to experience obstructive sleep apnea. In fact, the prevalence of the condition in obese adults exceeds 30 percent. The signs you or a loved one are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea include:
- Chronic, loud, disruptive snoring
- Frequent waking throughout the night
- Dry mouth or sore throat upon waking up in the morning
- Constant fatigue or exhaustion, even after a full night’s sleep
Do not wait to seek treatment for sleep apnea from a qualified professional. Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to serious heart complications and even, in the most extreme cases, premature death.
Treating Sleep Apnea and Obesity
Dr. Pamela West provides therapy for sleep apnea in Las Vegas. Obstructive sleep apnea treatment may include the CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, custom oral appliance therapy, or a combination of both. For patients who are overweight or obese, sleep apnea therapy should be applied alongside a weight loss program. Some patients find it easier to manage their weight as quality of sleep improves after beginning sleep apnea therapy.
Does Sleep Apnea Only Occur in Overweight or Obese Patients?
While being overweight or obese greatly increases a patient’s risk for obstructive sleep apnea, the condition is not limited to patients who have a high body mass index. Obstructive sleep apnea affects patients for a number of reasons, not always related to weight. Additional risk factors for the condition include:
- High blood pressure
- Tobacco and alcohol use (especially when combined in the hours before bed)
- Chronic nasal congestion
- Uncontrolled diabetes
- Among other risk factors for sleep apnea
Seek Sleep Apnea Treatment Before It’s Too Late
Don’t forget that the repercussions of sleep apnea are severe, and can include premature death. If you suspect you or someone you love are dealing with sleep apnea as a result of obesity or any other factor, please do not wait to seek treatment from iSleep Solutions. Dr. West and the team can help you regain your restful night’s sleep for a better, more energetic life. Schedule your free consultation today.