If you suffer from sleep apnea, you are at an increased risk for health problems. However, effective treatment is available to help eliminate your symptoms and let you get a better night’s sleep. Anyone can develop sleep apnea, but certain factors put you at an increased risk. These risk factors include:

Being Overweight

Approximately 50% of those that suffer from sleep apnea are overweight. Fat deposits around the upper airway may obstruct breathing. Additionally, people with sleep apnea may also have a larger weight.  However, not everyone with sleep apnea is overweight, just as not everyone who is overweight has sleep apnea. Thin people can develop sleep apnea, too. To minimize your risk, it is important to lose weight and remain active.

A Large Neck

Yes, the size of your neck can indicate whether you have an increased risk of sleep apnea or not. A thick neck may narrow the airway and may also be an indication of excess weight, which we briefly discussed in the last section. A neck with a circumference of 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women is associated with an increased risk of sleep apnea.

High Blood Pressure and Diabetes

Sleep apnea is also relatively common in people with hypertension, which is also known as high blood pressure. If you treat sleep apnea, you can often minimize your high blood pressure and vice versa. Additionally, the same goes for diabetes. If you are diabetic, your chances of having sleep apnea are higher than those who do not have diabetes.

Remember, just because you have one of these risk factors it does not necessarily mean you will have sleep apnea, but it does create an increased risk. Contact Craniofacial Pain & Dental Sleep Center of Georgia for more information on other risk factors and to find out if you are suffering from sleep apnea.