Sleep apnea can be a deadly condition, so how do you know if you have it? While we’re always searching for ways to keep you up-to-date with important information, we want to also make sure you get what you need to take charge of your health.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the breathing pathways through the mouth, nose or throat are collapsed or blocked. These airways are susceptible to blockages or collapses when the muscle tone lining these pathways relax during sleep. When this occurs, you will wake up frequently throughout the night, gasping for air. However, you won’t remember it happening.
Who is at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
There are a variety of factors involved in the development of sleep apnea. One of the main risks for developing sleep apnea is if you are overweight. Individuals who are overweight are the most at risk for experiencing sleep apnea due to excess tissue, which places pressure on the airway.
In fact, more than half of those with sleep apnea are classified as overweight—an issue we need to tackle. In addition to being overweight, your risk for developing sleep apnea significantly increases with age, diabetes and for those who smoke.
You may also be susceptible to sleep apnea if your nose, mouth or throat has a constricted shape or is small in size. Allergies and other medical conditions can also cause features along the airway to restrict the flow of oxygen.
Sleep apnea is more common in men than women. And, it is also more common among African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders than Caucasians. Sleep apnea can also occur during pregnancy and following menopause.
Contact us at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions for more information, and to find out if you have sleep apnea in North Scottsdale.