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Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea

Risk Factors of Sleep ApneaCould you have sleep apnea? The risk factors of sleep apnea could indicate if you have or may develop sleep apnea? The objective of this article is to highlight those factors to help you diagnose sleep apnea at an early stage.

The painful truth is; anyone could develop sleep apnea no matter their age or gender.

There are however some sleep apnea risks that stand out, and which puts you at a higher risk to have or develop sleep apnea.

  • Overweight or Obesity: I am sure you already Scaleguessed that this one will be first on the list. If you have extra body weight it will usually add more weight to the neck region, which puts you at higher risk, as the neck muscles will be weaker and less able to keep your airways open during sleep.
  • Male: I am sorry guys, but men are more susceptible to sleep apnea than women. The reason for this is because the male neck tends to be thicker than that of women.
  • Age: As a person age they are more at risk to get sleep apnea, with people over 60 being the most at risk. I guess experience is not always a good thing.
  • Thicker neck: This adds to the male factor above, but anyone with a thick or larger neck (even women) is more at risk to develop sleep apnea. Studies show that neck sizes over 17 inches (43 centimeters) are at increased risk.
  • Physical abnormalities: Large tonsils or adenoids are mostly to blame for snoring and sleep apnea in children. Other physical problems that adults might have are; larger tongue, deviated septum, nasal polyps, abnormal lower jaw, and abnormal thinner airway.
  • Nasal Congestion: Having any kind of blockage in the airways, such as in flu season when your nose is blocked. Allergies can also play havoc and increase your sleep apnea risk. See my article: Allergy Relief, for more on this.
  • Alcohol: If you like a night cap just before going to bed because it is a great way for you to end a hard day, then you should also know that it is also a great way to start a snoring session. Alcohol in general close to bed time, will increase the risk of snoring and sleep apnea, so try to avoid it.
  • Smoking: If you are a smoker, then you increase your chances to snore or have sleep apnea. Smoking affects the airways and will weaken the soft tissues and muscles that are suppose to keep the airways open.
  • Medicines: Taking medicine especially sleeping tablets before bedtime puts you at greater risk to develop sleep apnea. The sleeping tablet will relax you, but also your throat muscles, and will therefore increase your risk of developing sleep apnea, because your throat muscles and soft tissue are likely to collapse.
  • Menopause: The hormonal changes in woman can cause the throat muscles to excessively relax, which causes snoring and sleep apnea.
  • In the family: If there is sleep apnea in your family, I Keeping it in the familyam sorry to say that you may also develop sleep apnea over time. Just think back when you were laughing at your grandpa snoring in the room next door, now look into the future and hear your grand kids laugh at you when you will be snoring. The wheel turns right? Who says it’s fun to keep it in the family?

The risk factors of sleep apnea stated above can help to determine what puts you at higher risk to develop sleep apnea, but the horrible truth is some people may have sleep apnea without even having one of these risk factors.

The majority of sufferers however will portray at least one of these risk factors. If you think you might have sleep apnea, you should see a doctor as soon as possible, as this is a very serious condition and should not be taken lightly.

Do you have sleep apnea without any of these risk factors of sleep apnea, please tell me about it, I would love to know. Take care of yourself and stay healthy.

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