What are the most common factors leading to sleep apnea or obstructive sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of shallow breathing during sleep. Each pause, called apnea, can last for a few seconds to several minutes.
Over 12 million Americans are considered to have a more severe condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). In OSA patients, breathing is interrupted by a physical block to airflow despite respiratory effort, and snoring is common.
According to MySleepApneaMD.com, here are a few of the most common contributing factors:
- Being overweight or obese, especially if you have a BMI greater than 27
- Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
- Having large tonsils or tongue
- Having a small jaw bone
- Alcohol consumption
- Neuromuscular diseases such as muscular dystrophy or ALS
- Taking muscle relaxants
- Taking narcotic pain medications
- Taking anxiety medications