Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

A man is snoring in bed due to obstructive sleep apnea.

How can you tell if you are at risk for sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is often the cause of a lot of trouble. A good night’s sleep is necessary to function and without it, people do not operate at peak efficiency. That’s why it’s important to identify what puts you at risk for this condition. It’s always better to prevent a condition before it occurs. Otherwise, you are left dealing with a lack of sleep, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and cognitive issues. Let’s go through a couple of risk factors that will indicate when you need to see a physician.

Risk Factors

There are a lot of factors already affecting sleep. Some of these are much more controllable than other. For example, working too much or during late nights can lead to a lack of sleep. Also, your environment or stress can lead to difficulty falling asleep.

Other risk factors are medical. This means that disorders like sleep apnea are caused by means that are much harder to control. That does not mean that you can’t treat or prevent sleep apnea. It just means that you need to see a physician for help. Here are the ones you should look for:

  • Weight – Sleep apnea affects a significant portion of men. Some of these individuals have a family history of the condition and are overweight. Weight gain leads to a change in physical attributes. As the more mass and body weight appears around certain areas of the body, including the chin, tonsils, adenoids, it becomes harder to breathe. This is often due to the air passageways being block and too narrow.
  • Age and Disease – Unfortunately, the older you are, the more you are at risk for sleep apnea. Most over the age of 40-50 experience sleep apnea. Another big factor is high blood pressure. This condition usually is usually associated being diabetes, bad eating habits, smoking, or drinking too much alcohol.
  • Nasal Obstruction – There are plenty of disorders that can cause a nasal obstruction. Most of them need the intervention of a doctor to cure. Conditions like allergies, sinusitis, or a deviated septum are not only responsible for trouble breathing during sleep but while you are awake as well.

Preventing and Treating Sleep Apnea

If any of the risk factors are familiar to you, there are a couple of changes that you can make to you everyday lifestyle. The first is to cut off vices like smoking and drinking. These often lead to poor health. They are also known for affecting the muscles and interfere with your breathing. Another way to curb your risk for the condition is to change your eating and exercise habits. Introducing healthier foods and working out more will improve your body weight.

The most important thing you can do to evaluate your risk of sleep apnea is to see a doctor. Otolaryngologists are trained to diagnose and treat conditions that involve the ear, nose, and throat. They can also provide non-invasive treatments like the balloon sinuplasty procedure to help you find relief and sleep easy again.

A great place to start is by contacting Dr. Eric Cohen. As a licensed otolaryngologist, he is more than qualified to diagnose and treat your condition.

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