Reducing Your Risk of Sleep Apnea

There are a few things you can do to lower your risk of sleep apnea. These include:

Maintain an Appropriate Weight

Obesity is the number one risk factor for sleep apnea. If you are overweight, you may be able to prevent the development of sleep apnea by talking to your doctor about a weight loss program. If you’re not overweight, try to maintain an appropriate weight through proper diet and exercise.

Limit Alcohol Intake

Drinking alcohol can increase the number of sleep apnea episodes you have each night. Therefore, limit your intake of alcohol.

Avoid Taking Sedative Medications

Sedative medications can exacerbate sleep apnea. Try to avoid use of these medications.

Don't Smoke

Heavy smokers are 40 times more likely to develop sleep apnea than nonsmokers. If you smoke, quit .

References:

Being evaluated for sleep apnea. American Sleep Apnea Association website. Available at: http://www.sleepapnea.org/resources/pubs/evaluated.html. Published May 2005. Accessed September 17, 2008.

Cecil R, Goldman L, Benett JC. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2000.

NINDS sleep apnea information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/sleep_apnea/sleep_apnea.htm. Updated June 2008. Accessed September 17, 2008.

Surgical management of obstructive sleep apnea. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/Practice/policySurgicalMgmtApnea.cfm. Accessed September 17, 2008.

What is sleep apnea? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/SleepApnea/SleepApnea_WhatIs.html. Updated February 2008. Accessed September 17, 2008.



Last reviewed August 2008 by Elie Edmond Rebeiz, MD, FACS

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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