Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder caused by a blockage of the airway. While this disorder is more common in men, sleep apnea can virtually affect anyone, regardless of age, sex or age.
Some of the more common risk factors associated with obstructive sleep apnea are:
According to the Mayo Clinic, obese people have four times the risk of sleep apnea than those who are at a normal weight. One of the reasons for this increased risk is fat deposits around the upper airway, which can obstruct breathing. While excess weight is a common risk factor, not all people who suffer from sleep apnea are overweight.
Another common risk factor is smoking. People who smoke may have more inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. Similar to the fat deposits, this can obstruct the airway and makes breathing more difficult. For many smokers, the risk decreases once you quit smoking.
The thicker the circumference of your neck, the more at risk you are of having sleep apnea. The risk comes from having a narrower airway, which is the case with most people who have thicker necks. Men with necks 17 inches begin to increase the risk, while women see an increase with 15 inch necks.
For people who have difficulty breathing out of their nose, developing sleep apnea is more likely. Whether the congestion is a result of allergies or an anatomical problem, trouble breathing out of your nose is a common risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a problem that effects people around the country. While some cases can be treated with some lifestyle changes, there are also cases where treatments could be helpful. Before deciding on any options, it is important to visit a professional to find out more information.
TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of North Indiana can help answer any questions you may have about obstructive sleep apnea or possible treatments, including alternative CPAP treatments and non surgical sleep apnea treatments.