Major Risk Factors
Obstructions in breathing that are caused due to excess weight can lead to obstructive sleep apnea.
If you have family members with sleep apnea or even snoring, you may have a greater chance of developing sleep apnea.
Men are more likely to have sleep apnea than women.
Large neck circumference, narrow throat, small lower jaw, large tonsils, and large tongue are factors that increase the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
Obstructive and central sleep apnea occurs more often in middle-age and older adults.
Alcohol and pain medications consumption
Alcohol consumption at bedtime and pain medications relax the muscles in the throat, worsening obstructive sleep apnea.
Smokers are more likely to have sleep apnea than people who have never smoked, as smoking increases the inflammation in the airway.
Heart disease, prior stroke, high blood pressure and type II diabetes may increase the risk of sleep apnea. As these conditions are also complications of sleep apnea, the whole problem is a vicious cycle.