Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated interruptions in breathing during sleep. These interruptions, known as apneas, can last for several seconds and may occur numerous times throughout the night.
Obesity is a well-established risk factor for the development and exacerbation of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common type of sleep apnea. Excess abdominal fat can increase pressure on the diaphragm and chest wall. This elevated pressure can compress the lungs and reduce their capacity, making it harder to breathe and increasing the likelihood of breathing disruptions during sleep.
If left untreated, sleep apnea can be linked to various health issues, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and daytime fatigue-related accidents. Come see a Dignity Health Medical Group sleep medicine or obesity medicine provider today if you think you might be experiencing sleep apnea.