You may be suffering from sleep apnea and wondering if others are experiencing the same symptoms. It is important to note that sleep apnea can affect anyone regardless of age, lifestyle, weight, or race. Even children can have sleep apnea. However, certain factors put you at increased risk for this potentially serious sleep disorder. Here are some of the factors that put patients at increased risk for sleep apnea:
1) Patients who carry excess weight. In overweight patients, fat deposits often collect around the upper airway and obstruct your breathing while you sleep.
2) Patients with a larger neck circumference. Patients with a thicker neck may have a narrower airway and thus a greater chance of breathing problems like sleep apnea.
3) Patients with a narrowed airway or a naturally narrow throat. Or patients may have tonsils or adenoids that have become enlarged, which can block the airway and present breathing issues.
4) Patients who are male. Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea. However, women increase their risk if they’re overweight, and/or after the go through menopause.
5) Age. Sleep apnea often occurs in adults older than 60.
6) Patients with a family history of sleep apnea. If you have family members with sleep apnea, you may be at increased risk.
7) Race. In people under 35 years old, African Americans are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea.
8) Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers. These substances relax the muscles in your throat.
9) Tobacco Users. Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are people who’ve never smoked. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway. This risk likely drops after you quit smoking.
10) Patients with nasal congestion. If you have difficulty breathing through your nose — whether it’s from an anatomical problem or allergies — you’re more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.
1) Being male. Males are more likely to develop central sleep apnea.
2) Being older. People older than 65 years of age have a higher risk of having central sleep apnea, especially if they also have other risk factors.
3) Heart disorders. People with atrial fibrillation or congestive heart failure are more at risk of central sleep apnea.
4) Stroke or brain tumor. These conditions can impair the brain’s ability to regulate breathing.
Sleep apnea is considered a serious medical condition. Complications often include the following types of problems:
Before you have surgery, tell your doctor that you have sleep apnea and how it’s treated. Undiagnosed sleep apnea is especially risky in this situation.
Loud snoring can keep those around you from getting good rest and eventually disrupt your relationships. It’s not uncommon for a partner to go to another room, or even on another floor of the house, to be able to sleep. Many bed partners of people who snore are sleep-deprived as well. The creates problems with irritability and can put a strain on how partners interact with one another.
People with sleep apnea may also complain of memory problems, morning headaches, mood swings or feelings of depression, a need to urinate frequently at night, and a decreased interest in sex. Children with untreated sleep apnea may be hyperactive and may be diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
If you live in Hallam, PA or surrounding areas, Dr. Bell has many options to help restore healthy and restful sleep. Now is the time to treat your sleep apnea and get back to a healthy and happy lifestyle! We offer great payment options, so don’t wait to get treatment. If you still have questions about the symptoms, diagnosis and treatments for sleep apnea, ask your primary care physician for a referral or you can check out the rest of our specially created sleep apnea website.
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Hallam, PA 17406
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