Who is Most Prone to Develop Sleep Apnea?

Men are two to three times more likely to suffer from sleep apnea than women, but the risk increases for women who are overweight or post-menopausal.

Sleep apnea

is a common sleep disorder that causes brief interruptions in breathing during sleep. These episodes usually last 10 seconds or longer and occur repeatedly throughout the night. People with sleep apnea wake up partially when they have trouble breathing, but in the morning they don't notice sleep disturbances.

The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), caused by the relaxation of the soft tissues in the back of the throat that blocks the passage of air. Central sleep apnea (CSA) is caused by irregularities in the brain's normal breathing signals. Most people with sleep apnea will have a combination of both types. The characteristic symptom of the disorder is excessive daytime sleepiness, but other symptoms include restless sleep, loud snoring (with periods of silence followed by wheezing), falling asleep during the day, morning headaches, trouble concentrating, irritability, lack of memory, changes in mood or behavior, anxiety and depression.

Sleep apnea is more likely to occur in men than in women and in people who are overweight or obese. Adenoids and large tonsils are the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children.If you ignore this common sleep disorder, you increase your risk of having many other health problems and you may be putting other people at risk. Your brain and body are deprived of oxygen, and you may wake up several times a night or, in more serious cases, several hundred times a night. In addition, sleep apnea is linked to excessive daytime sleepiness, increasing the risk of car accidents and depression.One treatment involves using a device that uses positive pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep.

This type of sleep study requires you to spend the night in a sleep center, in a bed that may look like a hotel room. Before surgery, tell your doctor if you have obstructive sleep apnea or symptoms related to the condition. If you're having trouble sticking to your treatment plan or can't sleep even with treatment, your medical provider may recommend cognitive behavioral therapy.Approximately half of patients with

sleep apnea

have high blood pressure, and untreated

sleep apnea

increases the risk of heart-related diseases and death. If you think you may have

sleep apnea

, talk to your medical provider or use the sleep center directory to find an accredited sleep center near you.

The most common options reduce or eliminate extra throat tissue that collapses and blocks the airway during sleep.

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