Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by breathing interruptions during sleep. Basically, if you have this condition, you are – in a way – forgetting to breathe.
The causes of types of sleep apnea are clearly structural in nature. This means that an abnormality in one of your body parts will cause you to have this condition. In Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), it is the collapse of your throat muscles (and the inability of the dilating muscles to keep the airway clear) that causes you to skip a breath. In Central Sleep Apnea, it’s a misfiring in your brain that causes it. Simply put, your central nervous system forgets to tell you to breathe.
The usual approach to treat sleep apnea – in Toronto and elsewhere – is the use of a CPAP machine. This introduces a special kind of pressure in your airway to keep your muscles from collapsing. This pressure is called the continuous positive airway pressure, or in short, CPAP.
How do you prevent sleep apnea? You may ask. Well, there a number of prevention strategies on the list, but since this kind of condition is largely structural, efforts need to be doubled for you to truly stay away from a CPAP machine.
There are a number of risk factors associated with it. Meaning, you are more at risk to developing this condition if you satisfy any of the following conditions:
a. You are male.
Studies reveal that sleep apnea occurs more often in men than in women. Statistics in the United States shows that 4% in men but just 2% in women display the symptoms of OSA. With this, you can infer (albeit loosely) that men are in need of a CPAP machine more. They would even need CPAP replacement parts – in Toronto or elsewhere – more.
b. You are between ages 40-60.
It is more common among individuals who are aged between 40 and 60. This does not discount the fact, however, that also occurs in children and infants. Thus, it’s not safe to say that those aged below 40 would never ever be in need of a CPAP machine.
c. You are obese.
If you are obese, you are more likely to develop sleep apnea – and consequently to need a CPAP machine. This is especially true if fatty tissues are deposited around the abdomen.
d. You have these physical characteristics: a large neck, a narrow upper jaw, a receding chin, or a larger tongue, among others. All these “structural abnormalities” disturb the natural flow of air, and the normal functioning of your airways.
Remember however, that risk factors are not causes. A large neck, for instance, does not necessarily cause sleep apnea. You cannot go pointing to an overweight male and tell him that his size will cause substantial disturbance in his sleep. You cannot tell a 60-year old man that his age will cause him to develop it.
Risk factors merely state a correlation – a relationship between two factors. Risk factors only increase a person’s chances of getting this condition. No more, no less.
CPAP Clinic – healthcare at your home
We serve Greater Toronto Area in Canada.
Contact: 1-877-430-CPAP(2727) or info@CPAPClinic.ca