5 Surprising Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea You Shouldn’t Ignore

Top,View,Of,Beautiful,Young,Woman,Sleeping,Cozily,On,A Sleep apnea is a type of sleep disorder characterized by breathing that continually stops and starts throughout the night. If you’re worried about whether you will develop sleep apnea, there are a few essential risk factors to be mindful of. In this blog, we’ll go over the five surprising risk factors of sleep apnea.

The Sleep Apnea Risk Factors

Gaining Weight

By far, the number one risk factor to be aware of for sleep apnea is excess weight. The more you’re considered “obese,” the more likely it is that you develop sleep apnea. That is among the many reasons diet and exercise are essential to your health.

More Common in Men Than Women

Unfortunately, men are also significantly more at risk for developing sleep apnea than women. That’s not to say that women don’t get it—it’s just that it isn’t quite as common.

Sleep Apnea Is Genetic

Having a family history of sleep apnea also plays a role. If you have a number of people on one particular side of the family who have dealt with it, your chances are far higher than they otherwise would be.

Regular Substance Use

Regular use of any type of substance like alcohol would also significantly increase your risk of developing sleep apnea. This is why people who have passed out while intoxicated tend to snore. The same concept holds true if you use a lot of sedatives or tranquilizers, too.

Causes For Narrow Airways

Finally, many people don’t realize that neck circumference is also a major risk factor for sleep apnea. It’s similar in concept to carrying around a lot of excess weight. The thicker your neck, the narrower your airways tend to be—increasing your chances of developing sleep apnea.

Are You At Risk of Sleep Apnea?

If you’d like to find out more information about the major risk factors that you should be mindful of to avoid developing sleep apnea, or if you have any additional questions you’d like to discuss with someone in a bit more detail, please don’t delay—contact Sleep Houston to schedule a consult with Dr. Hans Schleicher today or call 713-828-8587 to book your appointment.

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