Who is at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Patients with obesity are often the most at risk for experiencing sleep apnea. This can be attributed to excess tissue placing pressure on the airway. More than half of those diagnosed with sleep apnea have also been diagnosed with obesity or are overweight. This is an issue that is extremely important to address and often requires lifestyle changes in addition to treatment with oral appliance therapy or CPAP.
Your risk for developing sleep apnea continues to increase with weight gain and age. You are also at a higher risk if you have diabetes or are a smoker. Additionally, if you have a constricted shape or small size nose, mouth or throat, it can also increase your risk for sleep apnea.
Allergies and other medical conditions can also cause issues along the airway that restrict the flow of oxygen. On the other hand, though, sleep apnea is often more common in men than women, as well as African Americans, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders than Caucasians. Sleep apnea can even occur during pregnancy and following menopause, so pay close attention to your symptoms.