Experts estimate that nearly 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. This condition causes you to periodically stop breathing for brief periods in your sleep, which has been linked to a variety of health concerns like hypertension, heart attack, memory loss, and many more. Thankfully, knowing what increases your risk of this sleeping condition can help you take steps towards preventing it. Read on to learn more about the most common causes of sleep apnea in Lakeway and what you can do to reclaim your restful nights.
Recent studies indicate that obesity significantly increases a person’s risk of sleep apnea. As fat accumulates in the neck and increases its circumference, the airways become narrower. This extra pressure can cause the upper airways to collapse when your muscles relax in your sleep. However, health experts report that losing weight can cure obstructive sleep apnea in a vast number of cases. Exercising, watching what you eat, staying hydrated, and talking to your doctor can all help get your weight and your sleep back on track.
2.) Nasal Congestion
Obstructive sleep apnea is a common issue for those with chronic nasal congestion. Seasonal allergies, irritating particles, illnesses, and many other problems can cause the nasal passageways to become inflamed, which restricts the airways and increases their risk of collapse as you sleep. Using an air humidifier, over-the-counter allergy relivers, air purifiers, and using a nasal rinse can all help ease nasal congestion.
3.) Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol impairs several of your body’s natural functions. Not only does it relax the muscles in your throat and throughout your body, but it also has a negative influence on your breathing ability. Alcohol decreases your drive to breathe, causing slow, shallow breaths. This dangerous combination can easily cause you to stop breathing throughout the night. The best way to protect yourself and your sleep is to cut back on your alcohol consumption.
Smoking also causes a host of troubles for your body, even while you’re asleep. Research suggests that smokers are three times more likely to have sleep apnea than those who have never smoked. This is because smoking causes inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway, restricting the passage of air. While it is by no means easy, the benefits of quitting this harmful habit are well worth the effort.
5.) Medical Conditions & Family History
Unfortunately, some sleep apnea risk factors are out of your control. Conditions like congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s disease are just a few issues that can increase your risk of obstructive sleep apnea. Additionally, jawbone shape, tongue placement, and other inherited factors can be passed on, making sleep apnea a condition that runs in the family. To overcome these problems, your Lakeway dentist may suggest the use of an oral appliance or CPAP machine to treat your symptoms.
Getting adequate sleep is important for our health, mental wellbeing, and quality of life. If you’re having trouble overcoming your sleep apnea, your Lakeway dentist may be able to offer you a custom solution that will help you rest easy.
About the Practice
Eaddy Dentistry has been helping the smiles of Austin, TX stay happy and healthy since 1999. With over 40 years of experience and advanced training in dental specialties, this family-run practice can help you overcome nearly any oral health issue. Additionally, they offer custom-made devices called oral appliances to help patients with sleep apnea. This comfortable alternative to the CPAP machine can help you regain your rest much more conveniently. If you have more questions about sleep apnea, they can be reached via their website or at (512) 263-4252.