Continuing on our theme of obstructive sleep apnoea, we are going to talk about 'What arethe risk factors for OSA?' OSA is a major cause of snoring, causing disrupted sleep for both the sufferer and their partner. There are several; some are reversible, some are avoidable, some of them are neither reversible or avoidable.
- Large neck circumference/large collar size
- Being male
- Being over 65
- Consumption of alcohol or other sedatives
- Diabetes; also an independent risk factor for heart attacks and strokes
- Ethnic origin
If you or someone you know thinks you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnoea it is important to seek medical advice. This is so you can address any reversible risk factors and treat the OSA, if required. Untreated, it can lead to serious health issues. Some of the reversible risk factors can be simple to fix and can stop OSA from occurring. This reduces cardiovascular risk and the chance of myocardial infarction (heart attack) and death. Smoking cessation advice and treatments are available from your GP, as well as advice on alcohol consumption. Diabetes has many potential complications and it is very important to keep blood sugar under control. Many of the risk factors for stroke and heart disease are also risk factors for obstructive sleep apnoea.
If obstructive sleep apnoea is kept under control, quality and length of life can both be dramatically improved.
Next week; what are the complications of obstructive sleep apnoea?