Sleep Apnea and Obesity: The Link May Surprise You

Sleep Apnea and Obesity: The Link May Surprise You

June 1, 2022

What Is Sleep Apnea?

It is a sleeping disorder that affects your ability to breathe properly when you sleep at night. Sleep apnea features repeated episodes where you stop breathing for short periods. When you stop breathing, the brain signals your body to wake, disrupting sleep. Sleep apnea can occur as a mild disorder or a chronic illness with adverse and potentially life-threatening side effects.

Sleep apnea treatment in the Colony, TX, focuses on improving breathability at night, which directly impacts the quality of your sleep. To do so, your doctor would have to underline all factors that may be decreasing your ability to breathe well at night.

Common Factors that Increase the Risk of Sleep Apnea

While medical experts continue to research sleep apnea, the particular underlying cause of the disease is still unknown. Doctors have only been able to point out several risk factors that can increase your risk of getting sleep apnea, including:

  1. Being male – more men are likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women.
  2. Age – people over 55 years old are more likely to have sleep apnea than younger ones.
  3. Neck circumference – having a thick neck translates to a smaller airway, which can cause sleep apnea.
  4. Smoking
  5. Excessive consumption of alcohol
  6. Family history
  7. Obesity or being overweight.

Obesity and Sleep Apnea – How Are They Interlinked?

When treating sleep apnea, dentists in Colony, TX, must consider all possible factors that may promote this sleeping disorder. The connection between obesity and sleep apnea catches many people by surprise. When overweight, you attract many health complications, including sleep apnea. Ideally, sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder affecting the respiratory system. Any factors that reduce breathability worsen your sleep apnea. In that light, obesity significantly worsens your breathing. When overweight or obese, worry about pharyngeal fat which is excessive fat deposits in your neck. The fat deposits layer your neck region, increasing the pressure on the upper airways. The pressure then results in a restricted air passage and decreased neuromuscular control.

Further, the fat deposits when you have excessive fat in your body lead to a decrease in the volume of your lungs, making it harder to breathe properly. It happens due to increased abdominal girth, which compresses your chest and the organs therein.

Unfortunately, studies continue to show that disrupted sleep patterns result in weight gain. The reason is that the lack of sleep eventually increases your appetite, making you desire to keep eating more food. Therefore, if you are already struggling with being overweight, poor-quality sleep will only accelerate your weight gain.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea and Weight Loss

The relationship between sleep apnea and obesity is complex because it is reciprocal so that both conditions worsen as you go. It is, therefore, paramount to seek treatment early, especially because both health issues can result in fatal complications to your heart, brain, and general body health.

The surest way to treat sleep apnea aggravated by weight gain is by losing the extra weight. Shedding several pounds will not happen overnight. Employ several guidelines in your daily lifestyle to influence your weight positively. Some of the things we recommend at Main Dentistry that may help include:

  1. Exercising – move your body every day in the healthiest way possible. Do not over-exploit your body in the gym because you want to lose weight.
  2. Eat healthily – ultimately, what you eat every day reflects in your overall appearance. Make healthy meal plans that will support your weight loss journey.
  3. Changing your sleeping position – although it may not impact your weight loss journey, employing a different sleeping position can make breathing a lot better when you sleep. As you work on losing weight and making a turn to leading a healthy lifestyle, good sleeping positions can ensure you catch some sleep.
  4. Surgery – obese patients may benefit from gastric bypass surgery to aid their weight loss journey. Besides, you can consider tracheostomy, a surgical procedure that places a permanent opening to your windpipe in your neck. However, surgery is always a risky treatment protocol that may introduce other health struggles during recovery.

The Most Ambitious Book Project in The History of Dentistry

Alpha Dentistry vol. 1- Digital Orthodontics (ASSEMBLED Edition)