Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea – Las Vegas, NV
Reducing the Risk of Developing Sleep Apnea
Risk Factors That Contribute to OSA
For patients who suffer from OSA, there is a partial blockage that inhibits the flow of oxygen through their throat while sleeping. This can be brought on by the tongue falling to the back of the mouth or the throat muscles partially collapsing during a normal sleep cycle. These are some of the risk factors that can exacerbate the problem.
Excessive Weight Gain
Being overweight can cause increased neck girth and the accumulation of fat deposits around the upper airway. Either of these situations can lead to flaccid throat muscles. This is one of the causes of the loud snoring associated with OSA, as vibrations occur from the air attempting to pass through the restricted area.
A Narrowed Airway
Often a hereditary condition, a narrowed airway can also contribute to OSA. This can be made worse if the tonsils and adenoids become swollen.
Unfortunately for men, they are two-three times more likely to develop sleep apnea than women. Researchers are still working to pin-down an exact reason for this.
Data show that older people are more likely to develop sleep apnea. Current research points toward an increase in fatty deposits around the throat area that is common among this population.
Do you have a history of sleep apnea in your family? If so, then you could be at a higher risk of developing the condition, but with an early diagnosis and treatment, you can overcome the odds.
Use of Alcohol or Sedatives
Research shows that people who consume alcohol in abundance or take sedatives are more likely to have relaxed throat muscles while sleeping and bouts of apnea. Drinking before bed only makes the situation worse, as it limits the time spent in the productive REM (deep sleep) stage.
Studies show that smokers are three times more likely to develop OSA than people who have never smoked. One reason for this is that tobacco usage increases the amount of upper airway inflammation and fluid retention.
If you have sinus problems, allergies or other nasal issues, you could be at a greater risk of developing sleep apnea due to the restricted airflow.
Getting the Help You Need
Identifying the risk factors for sleep apnea is just part of the puzzle. The next step is to take our online sleep quiz and then contact us to schedule a visit with Dr. West at our sleep center in Las Vegas. With the expert care you’ll receive, you’ll soon be able to get the valuable rest you need!