What causes sleep apnoea?

Sleep apnoea
Sleep apnoea
Unsplash.com

In the vast majority of adults with obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), the airway collapses due to an innate weakness in the tissues comprising the upper airway.

In a significant minority of adults with OSA, a physical anatomical anomaly is found to be blocking the windpipe – the tongue, the tonsils or the uvula (the little piece of flesh at the very back of the throat). The most common cause in these adults is a collapse of the tongue backwards into the airway.

Reviewed by Dr Irshaad Ebrahim, specialist neuropsychiatrist in sleep disorders at The London Sleep Centre and The Constantia Sleep Centre. FRCPsych. April 2018.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
32% - 9428 votes
No
68% - 19896 votes
Vote