Man with sleep apnea sprawled out in bed

The unfortunate truth is that virtually anyone could have or potentially develop sleep apnea; if you snore or find yourself feeling exhausted during the day, you should definitely seek a diagnosis for the disorder no matter what your personal risk level is. That said, some patients are more likely to develop sleep apnea than others, and there are a number of key risk factors that can tell you whether you should be worried about your breathing potentially being interrupted at night. Keep reading to learn about 5 factors that could eventually lead to needing sleep apnea treatment in Irving.

1. Excess Weight

Obesity and sleep apnea are very closely related. When fat deposits start to build up around the upper airway, the chances of the airway becoming blocked during the night increase substantially. Such obstructions can occur multiple times every night, forcing you to wake up frequently for air and causing oxygen levels in your blood to drop. Furthermore, people with sleep apnea are also more likely to gain weight due to the lack of rest interfering with the hormones responsible for controlling appetite; needless to say, gaining more weight could make your sleep apnea even worse, leading to a vicious cycle.

2. Narrowed Airway

The narrower the airway, the easier it is to obstruct. Some patients just naturally have airways that are narrower than usual; there’s also a chance that unremoved tonsils or adenoids could become enlarged and prevent air from flowing freely.

3. Smoking

There’s seemingly no end to the different ways that smoking can have a negative impact on your health. Using any kind of tobacco product could lead to inflammation in the upper airway, and that in turn could cause an obstruction. It has been found that smokers are three times as likely to have obstructive sleep apnea as nonsmokers.

4. Family History

While your personal environment and lifestyle have a major influence on whether or not you develop sleep apnea, it’s important to note that having family members with sleep apnea does tend to increase personal risk. This could be for one of several reasons, such as an inherited narrow airway or a disposition to obesity.

5. Being Male

Men are the most likely to develop sleep apnea, being two to three times more likely to suffer from the disorder than women. That said, women can still be at risk, especially after menopause. (The odds of sleep apnea occurring tend to increase with age for both men and women.)

Keep the above risk factors in mind if you notice possible symptoms of sleep apnea, such as being constantly tired during the day. If you keep your personal risk factors in mind, you’ll be much more likely to recognize the potential warning signs so that you can seek sleep apnea therapy when you need it.

About the Author

Dr. Kent Smith is the founding practitioner and chief medical officer of Sleep Dallas and Irving, and over the past 25 years he has helped more than 10,000 patients overcome their sleep breathing disorders. He is double board-certified in dental sleep medicine, and he currently serves as the president of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy. If you have a question about the risk factors of sleep apnea or would like to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (844) 409-4657.

The post Who Is Most at Risk for Sleep Apnea? 5 Key Factors appeared first on Sleep Dallas Blog.

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