Over 25 million people suffer from sleep apnea, which means it is important to understand the risk factors involved. While sleep apnea is a deadly disease, it is a highly preventable one when proper treatment is completed. To help you better understand sleep apnea, let’s take a look at the warning signs and who is at risk:
The population most at risk for experiencing sleep apnea is overweight individuals. This is due to excess tissue that places pressure on the airway. More than half of those with sleep apnea are classified as overweight. And this is an issue we need to start tackling faster than ever. The risk of developing sleep apnea significantly increases with increased weight, age and those with diabetes. This is also the case for smokers, too.
Gender and Race
Your gender also says a lot about sleep apnea and your chances of developing this condition. It is more common for men than women to develop sleep apnea. Additionally, sleep apnea is more common among African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders than Caucasians.
Constricted Shape of Nose, Mouth or Throat
Take a look at the shape and size of your features, such as your nose, mouth or neck. If you have a constricted shape or small size nose, mouth or throat, you might have a greater chance for developing sleep apnea. Allergies and other medical conditions can also cause features along the airway to restrict the flow of oxygen, further worsening sleep apnea.
Understanding the risks and warning signs of sleep apnea can help you find the right form of treatment before further complications arise. Contact Dr. Bonnie Foster to find out if you have sleep apnea.