Quality sleep is essential for your overall health and well-being. It provides the break needed to recover and self-repair, facilitating healthy living. Maintaining quality sleep is not always easy, not just considering the modern, fast-paced world and demanding schedules. Health conditions could impact how restful your nights are, including sleep apnea. Visiting Matthew W. Shawl MD can help establish what is causing your sleep problem, get the proper intervention and treatments, and help you enjoy quality rest.
Sleep apnea occurs when breathing frequently starts and stops, affecting your REM cycles as you can repeatedly awaken. If not diagnosed or left untreated, the condition can worsen to the height of obstructive sleep apnea. This puts you at risk of severe health problems, including diabetes, heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure. The good thing is that sleep apnea is preventable, manageable, and treatable. Below is a glance at the common risk factors to help you take steps and lower the chances of developing the sleep disorder.
When you are obese, you are at significant risk of sleep apnea. The fat deposits surrounding your upper respiratory airway narrow and decreases muscle activity in the tract leading to breathing obstruction.
When large neck tissues crowd along the throat and airway, it narrows and is prone to collapsing. This causes snoring and even sleep apnea.
Genetic predisposition is out of your control, but knowing it can help you take steps to mitigate the risk. If your family has a history of sleep disorder, you are at an increasingly high risk of developing it, emphasizing the need to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Sleep apnea is more prevalent in males. This is mainly due to males’ increased respiratory airways and neck circumference. Nonetheless, women at an advanced age, especially those who have reached menopause, are also at high risk of developing sleep apnea.
Smokers are more likely to develop sleep apnea. This is because smoking increases the retention of fluids in the upper airway and inflammation.
When tissues lining the sinuses become swollen and inflamed, they cause congestion in your nasal airway. This puts you at risk of nasal blockage, causing sleep apnea.
High blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and congestive heart failure may increase the risk of sleep apnea. Other health concerns increasing sleep apnea risk include hormonal disorders, chronic lung issues like asthma, ovary syndrome, polycystic, and even a prior stroke.
Alcohol and certain medications
Alcohol impacts the whole body and slows your brain’s response, causing the relaxation of muscles. Alcohol also irritates the nasal airway and increases resistance when breathing. Some medications, like anti-depressant, contain sedative properties, which also increase sleep apnea risk. It is wise to consult your doctor before taking such medications or when they impact your sleep quality.
Your sleep quality can take a blow, impacting your emotional and physical well-being. If untreated, it can worsen, especially with continued sleep deprivation. The good news is that conditions, including sleep apnea, can be diagnosed and treated to improve sleep quality. Contact Matthew W. Shawl, MD, today to learn more about sleep apnea, risk factors, symptoms, and treatment options.