Sleep apnea is a serious sleep breathing disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. Our dentist and team provide treatment to help manage sleep apnea so that you can breathe easily and normally while asleep and get the rest you need to enjoy better health.
Sleep apnea can affect patients of all ages, including children. However, certain factors increase your risk of developing sleep apnea. These risk factors include:
- Excess weight, particularly around your upper airway: Obesity and fat deposits around your neck can obstruct your ability to breathe and increase your risk of sleep apnea.
- Neck circumference: Individuals with thicker necks might have narrower airways.
- A narrow airway: You may have inherited a narrow throat, and tonsils or adenoids can also become enlarged and block the airway.
- Being male: Men are more likely than women to develop sleep apnea. However, women’s risk increases if they are overweight, and their risk may rise after menopause.
- Being older: Sleep apnea is more common in older adults.
- Family history: If other members of your family have sleep apnea, you are more likely to have it, as well.
- Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers: These substances relax the muscles in your throat and may cause sleep apnea to worsen.
- Smoking: Smokers are three times more likely to develop sleep apnea, as smoking increases the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in your upper airway.
- Nasal congestion: If you have difficulty breathing through your nose, you are more likely to develop sleep apnea.
- Heart disorders: Congestive heart failure increases your risk of sleep apnea.
- Use of narcotic pain medications: Opioid medications, especially long-acting ones, increase your risk of sleep apnea.
- Having a stroke: Strokes increase your risk of developing sleep apnea.
For more information about sleep apnea risk factors in Boone, North Carolina, and to schedule your consultation with Dr. Steven Airey, call Absolute Sleep of the Carolinas today at 828-832-8081.