Sleep apnea is a pesky condition that has a lot of risk factors, and not everyone will have them. But if your partner is snoring like you can’t believe it and seems to stop breathing in the middle of the night, then they might be suffering from sleep apnea.
Sleep apnea is a common problem that affects people of all ages and backgrounds. Over 50 million Americans have some form of sleep apnea, whether they realize it or not. Sleep apnea is not dangerous, but it can be extremely disruptive to your lifestyle and relationships if left untreated. There are many types of treatments available for sleep apnea, including mouth guard for sleeping, other appliances, surgery, and lifestyle factors.
Let us now see more into the common risk factors for sleep apnea.
- Excess weight
Obesity is one of the major risk factors for sleep apnea. In fact, people who are obese are eight times more likely to be diagnosed with sleep apnea than their normal-weight counterparts. This is because excess weight accumulates in the neck and soft tissue sections of the airway, leading to obstructions and snoring.
- Older age
Although this may seem counterintuitive, sleep apnea tends to increase with age. The reason for this is that over time, the soft tissue around to neck and throat starts to stiffen and become more difficult to breathe through, which can end up causing sleep apnea.
- Nasal congestion
Many people who are suffering from sleep apnea end up developing nasal congestion and other allergies in the throat due to the swelling. This can be triggered by colds, infections, allergies, and more.
- Smoking and use of alcohol
Smoking and alcohol use are especially dangerous because they can cause tissue irritation and inflammation in the throat. This inflammation causes the muscles in the throat to contract, which may lead to a host of other problems, including sleep apnea.
- Family history
If someone in your family has sleep apnea, you have a higher chance of developing the condition as well. This is because certain genes can predispose you to sleep apnea, and there is not much that can be done to prevent it.
- Medical conditions like asthma, hypertension, and diabetes
If you have medical conditions like asthma or high blood pressure, then you may be more likely to develop sleep apnea. This is because these conditions can lead to swollen airways and irritable tissues in the throat and soft tissues surrounding the airway, thus potentially causing sleep apnea.