Causes of Sleep Apnea

Managing Sleep Apnea: Understanding the Causes and Finding Solutions

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggle with sleep apnea, you know firsthand how this condition can disrupt your life. The constant fatigue, morning headaches, and difficulty concentrating can leave you feeling exhausted and unable to perform daily tasks. At times, it may even feel as though you are fighting an uphill battle against your own body. 

However, by working with a compassionate and experienced healthcare provider like Dr. Doneskey, you can gain a better understanding of the common causes of sleep apnea and find effective solutions to manage the condition. With his support, you can improve your sleep quality and take back control of your life.

5 Common Causes of Sleep Apnea


One of the most common causes of sleep apnea is obesity. When you carry excess weight, it can put pressure on your airway, causing it to narrow and making it harder for air to flow through. This leads to interrupted breathing and snoring, which are typical symptoms of sleep apnea. Dr. Doneskey recommends that patients with sleep apnea try to lose weight through diet and exercise to improve their symptoms.

Alcohol Consumption

Drinking alcohol before bedtime can also contribute to sleep apnea. Alcohol relaxes the muscles in the throat and can cause the airway to collapse, leading to breathing problems. If you’re a Bellevue, WA, resident who has sleep apnea, it’s essential to avoid alcohol before bedtime to reduce your symptoms.


Smoking is a significant contributor to sleep apnea. The toxins in cigarettes can cause inflammation and swelling in the airway, leading to breathing difficulties. Additionally, smoking can also lead to lung damage and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which are both risk factors for sleep apnea. Dr. Doneskey recommends that patients quit smoking to improve their overall health and reduce their risk of developing sleep apnea.


Sleep apnea can also be caused by genetic factors. If you have a family history of sleep apnea, you’re at a higher risk of developing the condition. Patients with a family history of sleep apnea should inform Dr. Doneskey so they can be monitored and treated if necessary.

Sleep Position

Your sleeping position can also contribute to sleep apnea. Sleeping on your back can cause your tongue and soft palate to collapse, obstructing your airway and leading to breathing difficulties. Dr. Doneskey recommends that patients with apnea try to sleep on their side to improve their symptoms.

Solutions to Causes of Sleep Apnea


There are several solutions to manage and prevent sleep apnea. These include:

  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP)– A CPAP machine delivers a constant flow of air through a mask, keeping the airway open and reducing apnea symptoms. Dr. Doneskey can prescribe a CPAP machine for patients with sleep apnea.
  • Weight Loss– Losing weight can help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. Patients can work with Dr. Doneskey to develop a diet and exercise plan to help them lose weight and improve their overall health.
  • Dental Appliances– Dental appliances can help keep the airway open by positioning the jaw in a way that prevents it from collapsing. Dr. Doneskey can recommend a dental appliance for patients who have mild to moderate apnea.

Surgery– In severe cases of apnea, surgery may be necessary to remove excess tissue from the airway and open it up. Dr. Doneskey can refer Bellevue, WA, patients to a qualified surgeon if necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can sleep apnea be cured?
Can children have sleep apnea?
Can sleep apnea lead to other health problems?
Can I treat sleep apnea without using a CPAP machine?
Can sleep apnea be cured?

While there’s no cure for sleep apnea, it can be effectively managed with the right treatment. Your dentist will work with you to find a treatment plan that works best for you.

Can children have sleep apnea?

Yes, children can also have sleep apnea. It’s more common in children who are overweight or have enlarged tonsils or adenoids. If your child is snoring loudly or has other symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s essential to speak with your dentist for proper evaluation and treatment.

Can sleep apnea lead to other health problems?

Yes, sleep apnea has been linked to several health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Managing sleep apnea can help reduce the risk of these health issues.

Can I treat sleep apnea without using a CPAP machine?

Yes, there are other treatment options available for sleep apnea, including weight loss, dental appliances, and surgery. Your dentist can work with you to find the best treatment option for your needs.

Take the First Step Towards Better Sleep

If you’re experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. Doneskey today. As a trusted dentist in Bellevue, WA, he can evaluate your condition, provide a diagnosis, and create a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve better sleep and improve your overall health. Contact our office at (425) 646-6409 to schedule your appointment and take the first step towards better sleep.