Risks of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder where you suddenly stop breathing while sleeping. It is a serious health problem where interruptions in breathing may lead to low quality sleep and an insufficient supply of oxygen to the body.
This condition typically occurs when your muscles relax after you doze off. The tissue at the back of your throat tends to collapse and block the air passage. Sleep apnea may cause your breathing to pause for 10 seconds to a minute.
Risk Factors For Sleep Apnea
There are several factors that may increase your risk of contracting sleep apnea. Factors such as unhealthy lifestyles or habits can be changed, while those like family history and age cannot be altered. Major risk factors include:
While you can be diagnosed with sleep apnea at any age, the risk increases as you age. In people belonging to a younger age group, sleep apnea is more common among men than women. However, this difference narrows down in older age groups.
As you age, there may be changes in how the brain regulates breathing. This may explain the higher risk of sleep apnea in older adults. Another reason may be that as you grow older, more fatty tissue accumulates in the neck and tongue.
Unhealthy habits such as smoking, consuming alcohol, and eating fattening foods that lead to obesity can increase the probability of contracting sleep apnea.
[[[DIVSTYLE:margin-left:25px|[[[BulletList:Alcohol can cause the mouth and throat muscles to relax, which may block the upper airway. This can also have an impact on how the brain regulates sleep.
~Smoking can inflame the upper airway, causing interruptions in breathing.
~Lack of physical activity or unhealthy eating habits can result in obesity, which can cause sleep apnea.
If you have a family history of sleep apnea, you may be more prone to it than others. However, sticking to a healthy lifestyle can help reduce the risk.
Research conducted in twins demonstrates that it is possible for sleep apnea to be inherited. The genes related to sleep apnea are also linked to face and skull development and how the brain controls breathing while you sleep.
Your race or ethnicity may play a role in determining your risk of getting sleep apnea. In the United States, sleep apnea is more common among African Americans, Native Americans, and Hispanics. A high prevalence of sleep apnea among people of color may have a direct impact on their risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Health Risks Related to Sleep Apnea
If left untreated, this disorder can expose you to grave health risks such as:
There are several ways of treating sleep apnea. Your doctor may recommend a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, or oral dental appliances such as a mandibular advancement device (MAD) or a tongue retaining device. If you are suffering from sleep apnea or notice any symptoms in your partner during sleep, schedule an appointment with us at San Tan Oral Surgery by calling us at (480) 604-2592 today.
Mon, Tue, Thur: 8:00am to 5:00pm
Wed: By Appointment
Fri: 8:00am to 3:00pm
3303 S. Lindsay Rd. Suite 112
Gilbert, AZ 85297-1504
Office: (480) 604-2592