Factors that Increase the Risk of Sleep Apnea

Factors that Increase the Risk of Sleep Apnea

Waking up abruptly with a choking sensation while sleeping? Do you get headaches in the mornings? These are some signs of sleep apnea. It should be treated immediately; else it can lead to heart problems. Read on to know the symptoms of sleep apnea…

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person suffers from shallow and interrupted breaths while sleeping. People with sleep apnea may have around 100 pauses in breathing. This means that the brain might not get enough oxygen.

Sleep apnea is of 2 types

  • Obstructive sleep apnea: It is the common form of sleep apnea and can  occur when a soft tissue in the back of the throat collapses.
  • Central sleep apnea: In central sleep apnea, the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

What are its symptoms?

When you are affected by this problem, you will experience the following symptoms:

  • Drowsiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Abrupt awakenings with choking sensation
  • Waking up with a dry or sore throat
  • Morning headaches
  • Troubled sleep
  • Lack of attention
  • Mood swings
  • Low sexual desire

What increases its risk?

The factors that increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea are as follows:

  • Gender: It is observed that men are 2 times more likely to develop sleep apnea when compared to women. However, women can experience this problem if they are overweight, their chances increase after menopause.
  • Age: Sleep apnea is observed in people who are above 60.
  • Family history: If your family members have sleep apnea, you have increased chances of developing this problem.
  • Race: In people below-35 age group, blacks have more chances of developing sleep apnea.
  • Nasal congestion: If you face a difficulty in breathing through your nose, you are more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Smoking: Since smoking can cause inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway, smokers are 3 times more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea when compared to non-smokers.
  • Alcohol consumption: Alcohol will relax the muscle in the throat that can cause sleep apnea.
  • Overweight: 50% of cases of sleep apnea are found among people who are overweight. Hence, if you are overweight, then the chances of experiencing this problem is high.
  • Large neck size: Men who have a neck size of 17 inches or more and women who have a neck size of 16 inches and more have increased chances of developing sleep apnea .
  • Narrow airway: If a person has inherited a narrow throat, he is at an increased risk of developing obstructive sleep apnea. Enlarged tonsils or adenoids that block airway can also cause sleep apnea.

The factors that increase the risk of central sleep apnea are as follows:

  • Gender: Men are at a greater risk of developing central sleep apnea when compared to women.
  • Age: People who are above 65 years are at an increased risk of developing central sleep apnea. This is more likely to happen when people also possess other risk factors.
  • Heart problems: People having conditions such as atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure are at an increased of developing central sleep apnea.

Untreated sleep apnea can cause high blood pressure and heart problems. Hence if you suffer from any of the symptoms of sleep apnea, consult a family practice doctor online at eVaidya now!

 

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