Sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing for a short time while sleeping. Although it is not directly life-threatening, it negatively affects people’s daily lives because a person’s productivity depends on the quality and quantity of sleep they get throughout the night. Obese and overweight individuals might experience this condition more, which brings about questions about the relationship between obesity and sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is the partial or complete cessation of upper respiration for 10 seconds or more during sleep. This slowing or stopping of breathing recurs at intervals throughout the person’s sleep and causes the sleep to be fragmented.
People with sleep apnea have low blood oxygen levels due to insufficient breathing. The results are usually headaches, fatigue, and daytime sleepiness. Also, these people usually have a snoring problem.
1- Obstructive sleep apnea: During sleep, the throat or upper airway narrows or closes. It is the most common type of sleep apnea.
2- Central sleep apnea: This type is rare but it causes brain malfunction and respiratory muscles.
Causes of Sleep Apnea
There are many different causes of sleep apnea. It is possible to encounter this health issue due to genetic factors. Other possible factors are:
- Smoking and drinking
- Sleeping pills and tranquilizers
- Anomalies in the development of the upper jaw and lower jaw
- Previous neurological diseases;
- High blood pressure
One of the most triggering reasons for sleep apnea is obesity. Especially when the neck circumference of the person starts to become oily and thicker than necessary, it poses a threat to breathing while sleeping. Other diseases related to obesity also trigger a person to have sleep apnea.
Does Obesity Cause Sleep Apnea?
Obesity is a weight problem disease that is indicated when people with a BMI score of higher than 35. Typical symptoms of this disease include an oversized and fatty body, joint pain, and diabetes. If untreated, the person continues to have eating habits, and the rate of weight gain increases. In this case, people’s movements are restricted and their vital values are at risk.
Does obesity cause sleep apnea? Yes, it is normal for people to have breathing problems because their body is bigger than they should be. Especially when lying down (such as sleeping), the airways are blocked which causes sleep apnea.
Why Does Obesity Cause Sleep Apnea?
Obesity is the most important cause of sleep apnea because:
- The excess body weight puts pressure on the airway. Fat deposits in the person’s body begin to collapse and neuromuscular control decreases. Precipitated fat deposits reduce the volume of the lung and respiratory arrest occurs.
- It triggers sleep apnea because the neck, waist and waist-hip measurements of obese people are bigger than normal.
Is Sleep Apenea Resolved When You Lose Weight?
If you have obesity and the main reason for your sleep apnea is your excess weight, weight loss will be the treatment for you. Getting rid of your extra weight lightens your body thus enhancing your health. But you can’t be definitely sure without examination. However, if you have a problem with sleep apnea and obesity, I strongly recommend you to lose some weight. If you cannot lose weight with diet, please call to talk to our bariatric surgery team.
Note: If you do not have excess weight, your sleep apnea may be caused by different conditions. This is why you should consult a neurologist or otolaryngologist before making any decisions.
Is Bariatric Surgery a Treatment for Obesity?
Bariatric surgery or weight-loss surgery is one of the effective methods to cure obesity for individuals who tested diets and exercise but could not lose enough weight. The main purpose of these procedures is to enable patients to lose weight quickly and remove diseases related to excess weight, including sleep apnea. Therefore, when the person gets rid of the extra weight, breathing will be easier and back to normal.
Sleep Apnea Test And Success Rate
A test is used to diagnose sleep apnea in people. The test includes a nighttime sleep assessment called a polysomnogram (PSG). The procedure, which must be performed by a specialist, is completed in a sleep laboratory.
During the test, brain activity, eye movements, muscle activity, breathing patterns, airflow, heart rate, blood oxygen levels, and similar body functions are recorded during sleep of the person with sleep apnea symptoms. Then, the number of times the person experiences respiratory distress during sleep and the level of sleep apnea will be determined.
In this evaluation, your doctor reachers definite conclusions by considering all the conditions.
If you suffer from sleep apnea due to obesity, if you have been suggested to lose weight and you are unable to do so, stomach reduction surgery (tube stomach, gastric balloon, gastric bypass, gastric band) can solve the problem. Please contact us, we will determine the right type of surgery for you and overcome your health problems together.