Boston PainCare

Sleep Apnea Risks

Could you be at risk for Sleep Apnea?

If you have any of the following, you may be at risk for sleep apnea.


Excess Weight Gain

Fat deposits around your upper airway may obstruct your breathing. However, not everyone who has sleep apnea is overweight. Thin people develop the disorder too.

Being Older

Sleep apnea occurs two to three times more often in adults older than 65. For women, the risk also rises after menopause.


Neck Circumference

A neck circumference greater than 17 inches is associated with an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea. That's because a thick neck may narrow the airway and may be an indication of excess weight.

A family history of sleep apnea

If you have family members with sleep apnea, you may be at increased risk.


High Blood Pressure (hypertension)

Sleep apnea is not uncommon in patients with hypertension.


Smokers are much more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than are nonsmokers. Smoking may increase the amount of inflammattion and fluid retention in the upper airway. This risk drops once you quit smoking.


A Narrowed Airway

You may inherit a naturally narrow throat. Or, your tonsils or adenoids may become enlarged, which can block your airway.

Being Male

Men are twice as likely to have sleep apnea as women are. However, women increase their risk if they're overweight, and the risk also appears to rise after menopause.


Click here for more information about Sleep Apnea.

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