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Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea: An Informative Checklist

Approximately one in four adults in the United States is affected by obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, but most cases go undiagnosed. Lack of awareness among both medical professionals and patients is one of the main contributors to the low number of diagnoses. It's important to understand which factors place you more at risk for developing sleep apnea along with what symptoms could be pointing to a possible problem.

Sleep apnea is about more than just snoring - it's a dangerous disease that leaves you at risk for serious complications. Here are checklists for both risks and symptoms so you can keep an eye on any signs that you should be screened for sleep apnea. When in doubt, call our office and we can help set you up with a sleep apnea screening.

Risk Factors of Sleep Apnea Checklist

Risk factors for sleep apnea, especially obstructive sleep apnea, are important to know so you can be aware if you are at high risk. That way you can take appropriate action to prevent or begin early treatment for sleep apnea. The risks include, but are not limited to:

  • Obesity (a BMI, or Body Mass Index, greater than 35)
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Being male
  • Over 50 years old
  • Post-menopausal (for women)
  • Large neck circumference (15 inches or more)
  • Large tonsils
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Acromegaly
  • Small lower jaw

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea Checklist

When it comes to obstructive sleep apnea, not everyone experiences the same symptoms. While snoring is one of the most common, we've seen many patients who were diagnosed with sleep apnea but never found snoring to be an active symptom.

  • Snoring or snorting in sleep
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Gasping for air during sleep
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Memory problems
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Headache upon waking
  • Dry mouth

If you think you may be at risk or you are experiencing the symptoms of sleep apnea, call us today at 206-316-8286. We can help get you on the path to diagnosis and treatment so you can start living a better life and getting the sleep your body needs to remain healthy.

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