Have you ever wondered if you are at risk for sleep apnea? Do you find you are always tired and can’t get a good night’s rest even if you get eight hours of sleep? It can be frustrating to deal with, but how do you know if you are actually at risk for sleep apnea?

If you have already read that sleep apnea can be a deadly disease, you are taking a step in the right direction by understanding just how important it is to get a diagnosis and begin treatment as soon as possible. And while sleep apnea is a deadly disease, it can be treated with proper treatment.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when breathing pathways through the mouth, nose or throat are collapsed or blocked. These airways are susceptible to blockages or collapse as the muscle tone lining these pathways relax during sleep. With that being said, let’s take a closer look and find out who is at risk for sleep apnea.

This is who is at risk

Overweight individuals are the most at risk for experiencing sleep apnea due to excess tissue, which may place pressure on the airway. More than half of those with sleep apnea are classified as overweight—an issue we need to tackle. Your risk for developing sleep apnea significantly increases with increased weight, age and those with diabetes, as well as smokers.

You may also be susceptible to sleep apnea if you have a constricted shape or small size of features in the nose, mouth or throat. Allergies and other medical conditions can also cause features along the airway to restrict the flow of oxygen.

Sleep apnea is also more common in men than women. 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 Dr. Sara at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions in North Scottsdale for more information and to find out if you have sleep apnea.