What causes obstructive sleep apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea happens when your throat muscles relax during sleep. These are the muscles that support your soft palate and the uvula. These muscles also support your tonsils, tongue and throat walls. As the throat muscles relax, your airway can become narrow and even close, causing you to breathe less. When you are not breathing properly, not as much oxygen is carried around your body. Your brain senses this and wakes you briefly to allow you to reopen your airway. Some risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea can include obesity, a narrow throat, enlarged tonsils and smoking or alcohol intake.
Author: Bow Tauro
First answered: 22 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.4/5 Votes: 128