Risk Factors and Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

How do you know if you might have Obstructive Sleep Apnea? We dive in to some common risk factors and symptoms below.


Risk for Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) increases with conditions or features that narrow the upper airway.* These can include:

  • A large tongue (this can block the airway)
  • Men with a collar size of 17+ inches
  • Women with a collar size of 16+ inches
  • Retrognathia (when the lower jaw is shorter than the upper jaw)
  • A narrow palate or airway (liable to collapse more easily)
  • Obesity (fat deposits fill throat tissue)
  • Smoking (those who smoke 2+ packs a day are 40x more at risk of developing sleep apnea than nonsmokers)

Signs & Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)

Sleep apnea causes episodes of decreased oxygen supply to the brain and other areas of the body, resulting in poor sleep quality. This may lead to:

-Excessive daytime sleepiness/drowsiness (This puts people with sleep apnea at risk for motor vehicle crashes and industrial accidents)
-Lack of focus/clarity
-Headaches (that are difficult to treat)
-Decreased interest in sex
-Leg swelling 
-High blood pressure
-Nighttime sweating
-Dry mouth/sore throat upon waking up
-Restless sleep/insomnia 
     Approximately 40% of women and 57% of men in the United States snore**, so it’s common to simply want to ignore it as a nuisance that happens to many people. However, snoring could be a big indicator of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, and you should seek diagnosis by your doctor for potential treatment. 
     A person with sleep apnea may not be aware of their breathing problems at night, so they often only find out about the issue from a bed partner, family member, or roommate. For those who live alone,  excessive daytime sleepiness is one of the most likely symptoms to be noticed by people with sleep apnea.Nearly 54 million adults in the U.S. suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).** Because of sleep apnea’s prevalence and potential negative impacts on your health, it’s important to be aware of probable causes and symptoms. Ask your doctor about potentially treating your sleep apnea with SomnoMed oral devices.

* https://www.healthline.com/health/sleep/obstructive-sleep-apnea#risk-factors


Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Types, Causes & Symptoms


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