The main connections made by the big players in the sleep industry with OSA are that the person usually is over-weight, smokes cigarettes, drinks alcohol, and has extra floppy muscles during sleep.
If you are a thinking person, the thought may occur to you: why does my throat collapse only every so often? Your weight doesn’t change every couple of minutes, and if this is the main cause for your throat collapse, then why doesn’t it collapse on every breath when you are asleep?
The same kind of thinking applies to alcohol, smoking and weak throat muscles. It is doubtful that you become a a trifle weaker, more drunk or that your throat becomes more irriated every so often while you are asleep, causing it to collapse.
It seems more likely that you are doing something when you are asleep that is causing a problem to the airway, and teachers of the Buteyko method believe that it is the way that you are breathing.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) can be particularly distressing because as the person attempts to inhale through the collapsed airway, this is the very thing that is sucking the airway closed, and so the more forcefully a person tries to inhale the less it is likely to happen. What needs to happen is for the person to stop inhaling forcefully for a moment to allow the air pressure time to equalise, and the airway will re-open. This happens when oxygen pressure drops or carbon dioxide rises sufficiently to momentarily disturb the sleep so that the person opens their airway before inhaling satisfactorily and vigorously with a gasp or snort.
Treatments for OSA
OSA is usually treated with various surgical operations, devices and machines that aim for the person to breathe through their nose.
The most widely recommended conventional treatment is the Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machine that blows air up the person’s nose, using the positive air pressure to prevent the airway from collapsing.