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woman suffers because husband has sleep apnea

Did you know that being overweight can contribute to a sleep apnea disorder? Sleep apnea causes your breathing to start and stop again repeatedly throughout the night. While many people may not think this is a big deal, this disorder can cause life-threatening issues such as stroke, high blood pressure, or a heart attack.

While losing weight cannot cure sleep apnea, it can help lessen the symptoms. Discover how obesity is related to sleep apnea and what to do about it:

Sleep Apnea & Your Weight

A person has fatty tissue all over their body, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Fatty tissue plays an important role within the body, but an excess of fatty tissue can lead to health problems.

The fatty tissue in your throat or mouth can put increased pressure on your upper airways, making your body work harder to breathe. By losing weight, this fatty tissue will not put pressure on your airways or block your airways. Snoring is a common sign of sleep apnea. Other signs include:

  • Chronic dark circles under the eyes
  • Emotional instability
  • Irritability or sleepiness during the day
  • Morning headaches
  • Pauses in breathing during the night

If you are experiencing sleep apnea symptoms but are not overweight, consider the following factors that may be contributing to your symptoms:

  • Drinking an excess amount of alcohol
  • Frequent use of tobacco products
  • Large tonsils
  • Narrow airways
  • Nasal congestion
  • Small or misaligned jaw

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options

Your sleep apnea treatment will depend on the cause. Once Dr. Tomlinson determines the root of the problem, he can discuss your treatment options with you. Several options include using a CPAP machine, jaw surgery, or medication to help open your airways during sleep. If you think you have sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with Dr. Tomlinson.