Do You Have These Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that can increase your risk of conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes and can even increase the chances that you could be hurt or lose your life in an accident. Sleep apnea happens to men and women alike and can happen to adults and children. Fortunately, if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, your dentist has treatments that can help you put an end to your symptoms and get back getting a good night’s sleep. Because many people don’t know that they have sleep apnea unless a sleep partner tells them about their snoring and breathing problems, knowing your risk for developing it is an important part of getting a diagnosis. If you have any of these risk factors, consider talking to your doctor or dentist about whether you should be screened.
Obesity is a significant contributor to sleep apnea. Being overweight can cause weight to build up on the neck, which in turn puts pressure on the airway and causes it to close when you’re sleeping, triggering apnea episodes. Sleep apnea could exacerbate obesity as well, since lack of sleep is associated with weight gain. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, losing weight could help your symptoms.
When you drink, the muscles in your neck relax and can become slack. As a result, they can compress your airway. This happens most often with frequent or excessive drinking. This same effect can happen as the result of tranquilizer or sedative use.
Being a smoker dramatically increases the risk of sleep apnea. In fact, people who smoke are three times as likely to experience sleep apnea than those who do not. This is because smoking causes an increase in inflammation in your airway. It can also cause fluid retention there, which in turn causes an obstruction.
If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, make an appointment with John Carson, DDS. At our practice, we offer multiple treatments for sleep apnea in Tucson, including CPAPs and oral appliance therapy. Make an appointment by calling (520) 514-7203.