Are Some People More Likely to Develop Sleep Disorders Than Others?
Submitted by New Jersey Snoring Solutions on Fri 08/21/2020 - 09:00
Obstructive sleep apnea affects people from all backgrounds and walks of life. However, Dr. Ivan Stein of New Jersey Sleep Apnea Solutions has identified certain factors and behaviors that raise the risk of developing sleep apnea and other sleep disorders.
Middle-age and Older Adults
Sleep apnea can develop at any age, including during childhood. However, adults over the age of 40 are more likely to develop the disease.
Sleep apnea more commonly affects men, but women are more likely to develop other sleep disorders like insomnia.
Overweight or Obese
Individuals who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop sleep apnea. They tend to have excess fat around the upper airway that can obstruct the normal flow of air during sleep.
Structural Abnormalities in the Mouth, Throat or Sinuses
An abnormally thick neck, enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a deviated septum and other anatomical irregularities of the mouth, throat and sinuses are believed to be contributing factors to sleep apnea.
Those who sleep on their back may be more prone to sleep apnea as gravitational forces make it easier for the tongue and surrounding soft tissues to collapse back toward the throat, narrowing or blocking the airway.
High Consumption of Alcohol, Sedatives or Opioids
Consuming alcohol, sedatives or opioids may lead to sleep apnea, as these drugs relax the muscles of the throat, possibly causing the obstruction of air.
Lifestyle Changes That May Lower the Risk
Although some of the aforementioned risk factors (i.e., age, gender) are out of your control, consciously making certain lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of sleep apnea symptoms.
For instance, if you are overweight or obese, losing weight through healthy diet and exercise habits is extremely helpful. Lowering your consumption of alcohol and not using sedatives, sleeping pills or opioids is another good choice. And sleeping on your side makes it less likely that your tongue and surrounding soft tissues will collapse backward and obstruct your airway.
Contact Dr. Ivan Stein Today
For more information about lowering your risk of developing sleep apnea, Dr. Stein is here to help. Or, if you are already experiencing symptoms suggesting sleep apnea (i.e., loud snoring, excessive daytime drowsiness, trouble concentrating), he can explain the path to definitive diagnosis. Once diagnosed, Dr. Stein can review your treatment options, such as wearing a slim, lightweight oral appliance while you sleep.
To request an appointment to speak with Dr. Stein, please contact our office via email today.