Sleep Apnea Has Many Causes

added on: January 30, 2013

For many who are familiar with Sleep Apnea, there is often a perceived stereo-type of an overweight, older adult and someone who is generally inactive. This assumption is incorrect, as is illustrated by the number of adults we see who are under the age of 45, have a healthy weight and are regularly active physically.

Sleep Apnea can have many causes, and some may surprise you. They include:

• Neck circumference – Some people with thicker necks have been found to have a more narrow airway.

• Race – For people who are 35 and under, blacks are typically more likely to have obstructive Sleep Apnea.

• Alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers – These substances contribute to Sleep Apnea by relaxing throat muscles.

• Smoking – Smokers are 3 times more likely to have Sleep Apnea than non-smokers. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway.

• Nasal congestion – Difficulty breathing from an anatomical problem or allergies increases your potential to develop Sleep Apnea.

• Narrow airway – You may have a naturally narrow throat or tonsils or adenoids that are enlarged, all of which can block your airway.

• Being a male – Men are twice as likely to have Sleep Apnea. However, women who are overweight or post-menopausal have a higher risk.

• Age – Sleep Apnea occurs significantly more often in adults older than 60.

• Excess weight – Fat deposits around the upper airway may obstruct breathing.

• Family history – If you have family members with Sleep Apnea, you may be at increased risk.

Sleep Apnea will not improve without treatment. Although the ‘industry standard’ is the CPAP, very few who have this device are able to tolerate it on a consistent basis. Our comfortable oral appliances can help you enjoy refreshing sleep without the need for a CPAP. Call toll free 1-866-9-Smiles to request a free consultation.

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Dr. Ban R. Barbat

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