Sleep Apnea is a dangerous medical condition. The condition is characterized by the disruption of breath during sleep due to a narrowing or an obstruction of the airway. Millions of people all over the world are affected with some form of Sleep Apnea. The apneas can be a result of miscommunications in the brain and nervous systems, or physical obstructions of the airway.
Recent research shows that the weight of individuals suffering from apneas could be a direct link to the manifestation of the disorder. Having excess weight and fat on the body makes it much harder for the body to perform basic daily functions like walking, breathing, etc. Being overweight creates serious health risks in many different ways, and it may be a cause for apneas to occur during sleep. Extra tissue, extra mass, and extra fat on the body means extra weight on the body, and consequently, extra pressure on the body.
As the neck is an obvious part of the human body, it experiences the extra pressure caused by extra tissues just like any other body part would. During sleep, especially on the back, all of the extra mass that surrounds the neck is being pulled down by gravity. The extra tissue is placing unnecessary weight on the neck, and everything inside of the neck. This pressure may be causing the airway to become narrower in an attempt to counteract the force of pressure. The narrowing of the airway, and lack of oxygen coming into the body, causes internal organs and tissues to swell up. The narrow airway, coupled with the swelling tissues, makes the already narrow path of breath even smaller; making it difficult, and in some cases impossible, to breath during sleep. In addition, it is possible for extra fat cells to affect to negatively affect the functioning of the brain; it could affect the brain’s control of the respiratory system.
Obesity is a serious problem, but don’t get confused. While being overweight may be the cause or one of the contributing factors of your Sleep Apnea, weight loss is not a fool-proof solution. If you are only mildly overweight, shedding a few pounds might make all the difference in the occurrence of your apneas; it can not, however, be expected to cure the condition altogether. It is essential to make sure that medical professionals are consulted when assessing the changes in your condition in correlation to your weight loss.