Anyone can be diagnosed with sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing, even young children. However, there are certain key risk factors that everyone should be aware of, and seek treatment if present. This will ensure that you get the proper diagnosis the first time, and promptly address any related health risks.
If several symptoms are present, you may be more at risk for developing secondary health concerns. This is most commonly seen in adults who have gone years without sleep apnea treatment.
Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea
There are many common, and not so common, sleep apnea risk factors. Sleep study research has produced a list of the more common factors that contribute to sleep apnea. Dr. Harper has seen patients with the following factors:
- Being male
- Over the age of 45
- Overweight, obese
- A large neck circumference
- Large tonsils
- Family history of OSA
- Hypertensive, high blood pressure
Dr. William Harper will look for these and other visible risk factors and signs of sleep apnea. Common dental effects of sleep apnea include worn teeth and damaged teeth. Patients who have OSA often grind their teeth or clench their jaw. They may also sleep with their mouth open, which increases dry mouth and can cause halitosis and mouth sores over time.
Visit Dr. Harper at his dentist office in Poquoson VA for preventive dental care. We can fix worn teeth and the other effects of OSA. Routine visits can allow us to monitor your overall health, changes in the condition of your oral health and to discuss concerns you may have about your physical well being. Sleep apnea can detrimentally impact your daily quality of life in many ways.
It can often affect the sleep quality for your sleep partner as well. Discuss any lifestyle habits or concerns you have during your next dental care visit, or during your consultation for sleep apnea. We can provide the most personalized care for your needs, all under one roof.
Sleep Apnea: What Are the Risks?
It is equally important for patients to fully understand the health risks associated with sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing. OSA can significantly increase your risk for a range of health concerns, and over time can become life-threatening if untreated.
Patients who have sleep apnea may also find it more difficult to manage existing disease due to the impact that poor sleep has on their body’s ability to function at its best.
Sleep apnea can increase the risk for sudden heart attack and stroke due to the continual oxygen deprivation that occurs during sleep. Obtaining a proper diagnosis and the right treatment for your sleep apnea is the key to restoring a better quality of life, decreasing your risk for other health problems and improving overall wellness.
Is age a risk factor for sleep apnea?
As we age our muscles begin to deteriorate. When muscles deteriorate, they easily collapse or cause blockages. Your risk of suffering from sleep apnea increases as you age, thus making age a risk factor for sleep apnea.
Who has the greatest risk of having sleep apnea?
Patients who are overweight are at the greatest risk for sleep apnea. Excess weight can cause blockages in airways. Patients who are overweight are much more likely to have sleep apnea.
Is snoring a risk factor for sleep apnea?
Snoring is a primary risk factor for sleep apnea. If you notice pauses in breathing during and after snoring, or excessive exhaustion during the day, it may be a good idea to see a doctor to diagnose you and provide treatment options.
Can sleep apnea damage your lungs?
Sleep apnea affects breathing, so there is a potential for lung damage with sleep apnea. It is not common that sleep apnea affects your lungs, but it is possible.
What are the most serious potential consequences of sleep apnea?
Untreated sleep apnea can have life-threatening effects. It can cause a wide range of health problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and premature death.
Schedule a Risk-free Consultation
Dr Harper is your sleep apnea treatment specialist in Poquoson VA, providing solutions for all ages. If you or your partner snore, or suffer from sleep apnea, call our office at (757) 600-6535 for affordable sleep apnea treatment in Hampton Roads.