Sleep diagnostic center in Laguna Hills, CA defines sleep apnea as a sleep-breathing disorder characterized by simultaneous episodes of not breathing when one is in slumber. This happens when the muscle supporting the soft palate, tongue, tonsils, and uvula relaxes, narrowing the airway and making it difficult for you to breathe.

Usually, your body detects sleep apnea because the oxygen in your blood lowers. Therefore, the brain wakes you so you can voluntarily take control of the airway muscles and reopen the airway. The waking up is brief because you may wake up due to choking, gasping for air, or snorting to reactivate the relaxed muscles. This cycle happens continually during your sleep, thus making it difficult to achieve good quality and restful sleep.

Risk Factors

Sleep diagnostic center in Laguna Hills, CA clarifies that sleep apnea can happen to anyone at any age. However, the risk may increase if you are:

• Obese people have a higher risk of developing sleep apnea because of the fatty deposits on the skin that may press on the airway

• Male – men are three times more likely to develop sleep apnea

• Age – older adults are significantly more predisposed to sleep apnea

• Have a family history of sleep apnea

• Suffer from frequent nasal congestion and allergies

• Are a frequent user of sedatives, narcotic medications, or alcohol

• Are a smoker

• Have developed certain medical conditions like hypertension, diabetes, or heart failure

Living with sleep apnea can be extremely uncomfortable. However, knowing the aggravating risk factors will help mitigate sleep apnea episodes.