For many years sleep apnea was thought to be caused by one thing — too much weight. The theory was that when a person gained weight, more weight would be held in the throat which would then create a blockage. A blockage would obstruct the airway, thus making it impossible for the person to breathe while they slept. They were then put under the impression that they would eventually stop breathing altogether.
However, this was not the case and instead of causing sleep apnea, the weight changed the characteristics of the panel itself. Now when a person was sleeping, they were forced to breathe through their mouth and not their nose which resulted in the tissue from their mouth pressing against the upper airway and create a blockage. This blockage stopped the passage of air. Then, when they woke up they could not breathe again because their throat had not moved to allow the air to flow.
Now, if you are overweight, it is not really that unusual to suffer from excessive weight gain. In fact, it is quite normal and it just means that this excess weight is more than it needs to be. It does not necessarily mean that it is sleep apnea caused by weight gain as the obstruction caused by the weight would not cause a blockage in the first place.
However, if you have an extreme weight gain or weight loss, then you may well be more prone to having apnea. If you have excess fat around the neck, you are more likely to develop acne as you hold excess weight in that area.
It is also thought that excessive weight can be as much a risk to the health of the heart as it is to the rest of the body. Because fat cells are under the pressure of the rib cage, the fat could shift to the upper airway thereby causing the blocking of the airway thereby causing the apnea. Consequently, if this is true, then you should consider trying to lose weight if you have excess weight in the neck area.
If you are overweight, it is vital that you see your doctor to get the best advice regarding your weight gain. In many cases, your doctor can help you in changing some lifestyle habits and perhaps reducing your weight for the sake of your breathing.
Your doctor may prescribe a medication such as ephedrine based nasal spray that will help you breathe easier. You may also need to try a tracheostomy to take away the restriction of the airway as a result of your excess weight.
For many people, this is the only option available to them. You can use surgery to remove the obstruction of the airway. However, the success rate is low as the blockage cannot be permanently removed.
If you are obese and suffer from sleep apnea, it can be difficult to change your lifestyle to stop sleep apnea. The majority of doctors will recommend a reduction in weight if you suffer from excessive weight gain or obesity. Therefore, if you want to stop your sleep apnea, you should consider losing the excess weight.
The most successful way to achieve this is to consult with your doctor to have him or her assess your sleeping patterns and possibly recommend some lifestyle changes to help reduce the level of sleep apnea that you suffer from. Also, ask your doctor for a personalized treatment plan that focuses on your weight. It is always important to try different types of remedies, as this may be the answer to your problems.
The bottom line is that if you suffer from sleep apnea and are obese, you should probably lose some weight as there are some benefits to be had. However, do not set your sights on losing too much weight, because if you do this you may find yourself having to have surgery which has its own risks. So in order to stop your sleep apnea, you need to consider lifestyle changes and the appropriate diet to give you a healthier, cleaner life.