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Am I at risk for Sleep Apnea?

Risk factors for sleep apnea include but are not limited to:

  • Obesity
  • Family history of sleep apnea or snoring
  • A small upper airway, enlarged tongue, large uvula or recessed chin
  • Excess tissue in the throat and/or soft palate, sometimes seen after surgical procedures
  • Age (the loss of muscle mass is a we get older)
  • Men appear to be at greater risk than women
  • Diabetes

These other factors associated with sleep apnea may include:

  • Alcohol use. Alcohol is a depressant that will relax the muscles surrounding the upper airway
  • Use of sedative drugs that relax the muscles surrounding the upper airway
  • Smoking

Sleep apnea is not limited to any person based on age, gender, or race. The healthiest of people may suffer from sleep apnea 

What are the some of the most recognizable symptoms of sleep apnea?
These may include but are not limited to:

  • Snoring
  • Witnessed lack of breathing during sleep, typically noticed by your bed partner
  • Awakening for gasps of breath
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness, including falling asleep at inappropriate times
  • Morning headaches
  • Weight gain
  • Lack of focus or attention
  • Memory loss
  • Mood swings or personality changes
  • Lethargy

 Up to 80% to 90% of adults may suffer from undiagnosed sleep apnea.  Most often they are unaware that their symptoms are a sign of a serious breathing disorder.