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What are the risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea can affect both young and old. There’s an assumption that only adults battle with sleep apnea. Hence, it is time to discard such hypothesis. We have heard about kids battling sleep apnea. However, it is expedient for every individual to know that there are factors that increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Remember, obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleep apnea. 

So, in this write-up, we’ll talk about what sleep apnea entails. Not only that, but we’ll also be explaining in detail the risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea. Therefore, we urge you to sit back and follow us closely.

What is sleep apnea? 

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that makes breathing stop and starts repeatedly. If you notice that your breathing does stop and start frequently, you might have sleep apnea symptoms. On the other hand, if one snores loudly and such person always feels tired after a whole night’s sleep, one might be battling sleep apnea. You might be wondering if snoring is a serious matter. Of course, it is. Snoring is one of the common symptoms of sleep apnea. Although, there are other symptoms. With that said, it would be nice to talk about obstructive sleep apnea. 


What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)? 

Obstructive sleep apnea is a type of sleep apnea. It occurs when throat muscles relax. Furthermore, obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of one’s throat relax excessively to permit normal breathing. Hence, these muscles support structures, including the back of the roof of one’s mouth, the triangular piece of tissue hanging from the soft palate, the tonsils, and the tongue. However, let us talk about the only way to get rid of obstructive sleep apnea. The only way to get rid of it is for one to embark on the journey of losing weight, or one can have surgery to eradicate or remove the excess tissue from the throat. But we would like to inform you that surgery can have side effects. That is why surgery is usually viewed as the last option.   

Risk factors of OSA

  1. Excess weight: When there’s an increase in one’s weight, the risk of sleep apnea increases. Obesity increases the risk of having sleep apnea. Suppose fat deposits around one’s upper airway, one’s breathing can be obstructed. And this will lead to sleep apnea. This vital information must go viral on social media platforms. Many people are battling this, and they don’t know. Therefore, one needs to look for ways to reduce one’s weight to avoid sleep apnea. It is expedient for every individual to ensure that their weight is average. If there’s excess weight, the airway might get blocked or obstructed; the breathing becomes something difficult. 
  2. Being male: Men are more prone to have sleep apnea than women. The only way women increase their risk of having sleep apnea is if they have excess weight. Also, their risk appears to rise after menopause. So, naturally, men are more prone to have sleep apnea than women. 
  3. Smokers: Of course, smokers are liable to die young. If you love smoking, you may have SA. In fact, it is said that smokers are five times more likely to have OSA than people who refrain themselves from smoking. When you smoke, the inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway increase. And this might affect one’s breathing. So, people should limit the rate at which they smoke. We have heard about several people who have undergone the surgery process resulting from smoking. 
  1. Family history: SA can be genetic. If you have family members battling with SA, there’s a high tendency that one might also have it. There are countless people out there who brought SA into their lives because their parents had it. What are we saying in essence? We are trying to let you know that OSA can be hereditary. Therefore, family background or history is one of the risk factors for having OSA. 
  2. Neck circumference: If your neck is thick, you might later end up having SA. We have seen countless people like that. They got OSA because their neck is wide. Therefore, having a wide neck is also one factor contributing to the increase of sleep apnea. 
  3. Being older: Being older is also one of the risk factors for OSA. Of course, research shows that adults’ battle with SA is more than that of the young ones. You might be curious to know the exact age. There’s no permanent age range. But the fact remains that adults aged 50 are more likely to have sleep apnea (SA). 
  4. Use of alcohol and sedatives: People that can’t do without taking alcohol are prone to have OSA. This statement of fact was derived from a medical doctor who was speaking about how to avoid OSA. The doctor stated that to stay safe from having SA, one needs to reduce the rate at which one consumes alcohol. Chemicals in the alcohol may relax the muscles in one’s throat, which can obstruct one’s breathing. Therefore, taking alcohol and tranquilizers is one of the risk factors for OSA. 
  5. Medical conditions: People battling heart diseases are at high risk of having sleep apnea. Not only that, but other medical conditions can also increase the risk of having OSA. Some of them are; high blood pressure, diabetes (type 2), and Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, polycystic ovary syndrome, hormonal disorder, and chronic lung diseases like asthma can also increase the risk of having obstructive sleep apnea. 
  6. Nasal congestion: If one finds it so hard to breathe through one’s nose, whether from anatomical or allergies problems, one is more prone to have OSA.

On a final note

Dear reader, the information you’ve seen here should be on social media platforms. Please kindly share the link to this page with family and friends. You never can tell; you might be helping someone. In this write-up, we explained the meaning of sleep apnea, and we also explained in detail the risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Finally, if you have a question regarding this topic, please feel free to share.