Sleep Apnea & Obesity

Every year the experts at Physicians Premiere Weight & Wellness Center see many patients suffering from OSA or Obstructive Sleep Apnea disorder. Sleep Apnea occurs in up to 45% of people who are living with obesity, and up to 25% of adults overall. When rated using a Body Mass Index measurement, overweight is defined as having a BMI value of 25 or more, while obesity is rated at 30 or more.

What Is Sleep Apnea

Patients who experience more than five ‘breathing events’ an hour, as measured during a sleep study, are said to be affected by sleep apnea. Breathing events include temporary cessation of breathing while sleeping or less effective breathing. 70% of all patients who live with OSA have obesity or a BMI greater than 30. Research shows that those who lower their BMI by only 10% will see a dramatic 20% improvement in the severity of their sleep apnea.

How Does Obesity Affect Sleep Apnea?

Obesity increases the presence of fat deposits in the upper airway that can reduce the the size of the airway. In general, men with neck circumference greater than 17″ and women with neck circumference greater than 15″ have significantly increased risk of developing sleep apnea. Those with a waist in excess of 35 inches for women, and 40 inches for men, have also been shown to increase the level of risk of sleep apnea.

Man asleep with CPAP machine

How Is Sleep Apnea Treated?

In most cases, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) is the most effective treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, however, many patients have difficulty using a CPAP machine at nighttime and often give up on it. Weight loss then becomes a good option for treatment.

Medical studies show that obstructive sleep apnea is strongly associated with conditions such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, diabetes, acid reflux disease, heart failure, and even abnormal heart rhythm. In fact, half of the the patients with sleep-apnea have hypertension, and if left untreated, they have an increased the risk of heart-related illness and death.

If you’ve been struggling with obesity and have been experiencing symptoms associated with sleep apnea, Physicians Premiere Weight & Wellness Center is here to help. Dr. Patel works closely with patients in Ashburn, VA area, providing hope for those fighting a lifelong battle with excess weight. Call us today at 703-783-5673 to start your journey to a fitter, healthier you, and overcome the struggles associated with obesity and sleep apnea. Don’t lose another night’s sleep to unwanted weight; schedule your appointment today!