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Posted on 1/10/2020 by Dr. Michael Allard
|There are a few different types of sleep apnea, however, the most common type is called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. One recently mentioned study speculated that 3-5% of middle-aged men and slightly less than 3% of women in the US have developed OSA.
Other studies suggest the numbers are much higher. There are many things that increase your risk of developing it. Knowing your risk factors can help you determine if you should seek help.
Genetic Risk FactorsIf you have a history of obesity or your family does, it is one of the main causes of sleep apnea. The excess weight literally weighs down your breathing system causing problems. Much research has shown that 2/3rds of the people who see a professional with OSA are overweight.
If you have a small lower jaw or any type of facial misconfigurations. It can disrupt your sleep. If your neck or your tonsils are larger than most, it restricts the breathing and results in OSA. Hormonal changes like menopause, hypothyroidism or higher levels of the growth hormone can also result in OSA.
Behavioral Patterns and Habits that Create Risk FactorsAs mentioned above, overeating and obesity can go hand in hand. Lowering your weight to a healthy level is the first step to lowering your risk factor. If you have the habit of using medications or alcohol to fall asleep. They can as a side effect start to cause sleep apnea. If you are a smoker, along with all the other side effects.
It causes you to experience higher levels of inflammation or fluid retention compared to a nonsmoker in your upper part of the airway. Smokers are known to be as much as three times more likely to develop OSA. If you regularly have issues with allergies or any other type of problem that makes in tough to breath clearly through your nose, you have an increased risk factor.
If your partner has told you that you have periods where you quit breathing and then gasp throughout the night or if you are concerned you may have developed sleep apnea. Consulting with our staff can help. Call us today to schedule an appointment.