How does sleep apnea occur?

by Nov 30, 2021Respiratory0 comments


1. Process of sleep apnea
2. Factors leading to sleep apnea
3. Symptoms of sleep apnea
4. Complications of sleep apnea

Process of sleep apnea

sleep apnea

If you have obstructive sleep apnoea, your breathing pauses for brief periods while you’re asleep.

Normally when you breathe in air flows in through your mouth and nose and down your throat, also called the pharynx.

Air then flows down your windpipe or trachea spreading through a tree-like structure of smaller tubes into your lungs.

sleep apnea - lungs

Each time you breathe in, negative suction pressure pulls the soft tissues in your mouth and pharynx inward.

The muscles in your pharynx respond by pulling the soft tissues outward again, which keeps your airway open.

When you sleep, it’s normal for the muscles in your mouth tongue, and pharynx to relax slightly, but not enough to block your airway.

If you have obstructive sleep apnoea, the muscles of your mouth and pharynx may relax too much.

Your tongue drops onto the soft tissue in the roof of your mouth, pressing it against the back of your throat.

This completely blocks the flow of air into your lungs.

sleep apnea - air

The lack of oxygen in your lungs wakes you up.

You may gasp for air to re-establish airflow before falling asleep again.

The cycle of apnea and waking up may happen many times at night preventing restful sleep.

Factors leading to sleep apnea

Factors that may contribute to obstructive sleep apnea include

sleep apnea - fat
1. Obesity, because more fat may be present in the walls of the pharynx.

small or receding jaw
2. A small or receding jaw with a narrowed airway.

Swollen tonsils
3. Loss of muscle tone in your pharynx due to aging and swollen tonsils.

Symptoms of sleep apnea

Common symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea are
1. Snoring
2. Morning headaches
3. Chronic daytime sleepiness
4. Fatigue
5. Irritability
6. Impaired concentration

Complications of sleep apnea

Left untreated obstructive sleep apnea may lead to complications, such as
1. High blood pressure
2. Heart disease
3. Irregular heartbeats called arrhythmias
4. Stroke
5. Diabetes

Recommendations for sleep apnea

Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes to treat obstructive sleep apnea including:
1. Losing weight
2. Sleeping on your side
3. Not smoking
4. Avoid substances that can make you sleepy such as alcohol and sedatives.

For mild or moderate obstructive sleep apnoea an oral appliance may keep your airway open, this device works by pulling your jaw forward and moving both your tongue and the roof of your mouth away from the back of your throat.

The most common and effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is a continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP machine.

CPAP machine

This machine pumps air through a tube into a mask that fits over your nose or both your nose and mouth.

The mild air pressure of the CPAP machine helps keep your airway open enabling you to get a deep restful sleep.


Another device that is also very helpful for sleep apnea is Welleu O2ring.

Wellue O2ring

It can discover the sleep data during sleep to evaluate the treatment.

In addition, when your blood oxygen level in sleep is lower than the value you set, O2ring will help sleep apnea treatment by vibrating to remind you to change sleep position, thus improving the quality of sleep.

You can see everything about O2ring here >The Ultimate O2ring Usage Guide.

2023 – The Ultimate O2ring Usage Guide

It is an FDA-registered product that has medical-grade accuracy. With O2Ring, you can monitor your sleep all night. It will silently vibrate to remind you when detecting too low blood oxygen saturation or irregular heartbeats.

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