Exploring the Uncommon Causes of Sleep Apnea and How to Treat Them

Sleep apnea is a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep, which can result in poor sleep quality and excessive daytime sleepiness. Common causes of sleep apnea include obesity, smoking, alcohol consumption and aging. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of the condition, while central sleep apnea (CSA) is less common but more serious. Treatment for both types usually involves lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, as well as the use of CPAP or BiPAP machines to help regulate breathing during sleep. What’s interesting is that there are actually several uncommon causes of sleep apnea that often get overlooked. That’s what we want to talk about today!

Uncovering the Lesser Known Causes of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can have a significant impact on an individual’s quality of life. While the most common causes of sleep apnea are well known, there are some more uncommon and rare factors that can increase the risk of developing sleep apnea. This article will explore some of these less common causes of sleep apnea to help people better understand their risk for this condition. Some of the uncommon causes of sleep apnea include:

  1. Obesity: This can lead to sleep apnea in many people as the weight of their body presses down on their throat and airways, making them smaller and harder to breathe through. Central obesity is commonly caused by a large stomach that hangs over the belt line while peripheral obesity is often caused by belly fat around the thighs and hips, or larger thighs and hips that cause saggy skin under their arms. The risk for sleep apnea increases with both central and peripheral obesity as airways become narrower. In contrast, metabolic conditions such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to cause obesity around the hips and thighs, which is more likely to affect the lungs, though in these cases sleep apnea would likely be caused by enlarged ovaries.
  2. Mental health conditions: Sleep apnea is also common among people with mental health conditions such as depression or bipolar disorder. This may happen when sleep apnea becomes severe enough that it affects a person’s concentration and ability to function during the day, potentially leading to worsening of symptoms of a mental health condition.

How to Diagnose & Treat Uncommon Causes of Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that can have a significant impact on both physical and mental health. But, it can often be difficult to diagnose the cause of the disorder. Fortunately, with the help of AI-powered diagnostic tools, doctors are now better able to detect and diagnose uncommon causes of sleep apnea, such as neurological disorders or hormonal imbalances. With this newfound knowledge, physicians can then provide individualized treatment plans tailored to address the underlying causes of each patient’s condition. By knowing the uncommon causes of sleep apnea, you and your doctor can work together to find the perfect plan for you!


Rock Creek Oral Surgery is committed to helping those suffering from sleep apnea. This common yet serious sleep disorder can be effectively treated with oral surgery, and Rock Creek Oral Surgery has the experience and expertise to ensure successful outcomes for their patients. They know even the most uncommon causes of sleep apnea and are prepared to help you from start to finish. If you or someone you know is suffering from sleep apnea, call us today and take the first step towards a better night’s sleep.


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