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Obesity promotes nocturnal breathing interruptions
Obese people have an increased risk of breathing interruptions at night. Around 840,000 women and more than 1.5 million men between the ages of 30 and 60 suffer from so-called obstructive sleep apnea in Germany, according to the German Society for Ear, Nose and Throat, Head and Neck Surgery.
Breathing interruptions pose a health risk. People who snore at night and feel tired and sleepy during the day, as well as complaining of difficulty concentrating, could suffer from breathing interruptions at night. Experts speak of obstructive sleep apnea when those affected have more than five breathing stops per hour. "During sleep, the muscles around the upper respiratory tract relax very strongly," explains Professor Karl Hörmann, ear, nose and throat doctor and director at the University ENT Clinic in Mannheim. "This causes the upper part of the throat to fall together and there is an obstruction of the airways and breathing interruptions. "
Very overweight people are at greatest risk of sleep apnea and are therefore the most frequently affected. The cause of breathing interruptions in obese people is the fat deposits in the upper respiratory tract. The more fat is deposited, the smaller the diameter of the airways. The result is disturbed irregular breathing. "In severe cases, studies have also shown that the risk of developing coronary heart disease, cardiac arrhythmias and type 2 diabetes or having a stroke increases," reports the ear, nose and throat doctor. "If you lose 10 percent in weight, can halve the number of pauses in breathing and thus alleviate the symptoms. "
Don't sleep on your back
People suffering from breathing interruptions at night should not lie on their backs when sleeping, and should avoid sleeping pills, alcohol and nicotine. A lifestyle change is often essential. Anatomical constrictions in the nose and throat can increase sleep apnea. In this context, polyps, deformities of the nasal septum or enlarged tonsils as triggers for nocturnal breathing interruptions are possible. In some people, the airways are completely closed for a short time during sleep. The result is breathing interruptions with wake-up reactions that absolutely require medical clarification and treatment. (ag)
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