Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition that can have far-reaching effects on health and well-being. The two major risk factors for this condition are obesity and a family history of snoring or apnea, with men being more likely to suffer from it. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it is important to get tested by a health professional. Positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy is the most common treatment offered to those with obstructive sleep apnea.
People who accumulate fat on their neck, tongue, and upper abdomen are particularly vulnerable to sleep apnea. This is because the fat can block the airways and prevent the brain from sending signals to the respiratory muscles. In addition, those who are overweight tend to accumulate fat in traditionally “masculine” areas, such as the belly, which increases the chances of suffering from sleep apnea. It is also important to note that alcohol consumption and frequent use of sleeping pills or other drugs that cause intense sedation should be avoided by those with sleep apnea.
This is because these substances can worsen the condition and make it more difficult to recover or feel better after treatment. Sleep apnea can also increase the risk of having a recurrent heart attack, stroke, and abnormal heartbeats, such as atrial fibrillation. This is why it is important to get tested for sleep apnea if you suspect you may have it. Home tests are available, but it is best to have the results interpreted by a health professional.
Devices that treat sleep apnea, especially positive airway pressure devices, usually produce very fast results. Consistent differences in sleep quality were observed between men and women and between different age groups. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the risk factors for sleep apnea and take steps to reduce them if possible. Effective treatment can usually prevent or resolve serious sleep apnea complications, so it is important to seek help if you think you may be suffering from this condition.