There is no cause/effect relationship between basilar atelectasis and sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is caused by weakening of throat tissue during sleep resulting in collapse of the airway.
The most common cause of atelectasis is an obstruction of a large bronchus (one of the two main branches of the trachea leading directly to the lungs). Smaller airways can also become blocked. The obstruction may be caused by a plug of mucus, a tumor, or an inhaled foreign object inside the bronchus. Alternatively, the bronchus may be blocked by something pressing from the outside, such as a tumor, enlarged lymph nodes, or a significant amount of fluid or air in the pleural space around the lungs.
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