Sleep apnea by age

Couple smiling Sleep apnea has become incredibly common in the U.S. Taken from the Greek word “apnea,” which means “without breath,” this condition occurs when you involuntarily stop breathing during sleep. Approximately 80 percent of people affected by sleep apnea have what is known as obstructive sleep apnea, which is when the muscles in the throat relax, and the tongue falls back and blocks the airway, reducing the amount of oxygen delivered to your heart, organs and brain.

It’s estimated to affect upward of 30 million Americans.

So does age make you more vulnerable or less susceptible to this sleep-related breathing disorder? It depends. While most diagnoses of sleep apnea occur in adults age 40 or older, numbers published on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine site pointing to an American Journal of Epidemiology Study reveal that 26 percent of adults ages 30 to 70 have sleep apnea.

It’s not something that just affects adults, either. For nonobese children ages 8 and younger, the rate of sleep apnea can be as high as 5 percent.

Regardless of age, sleep apnea is a serious condition that can lead to problems such as high blood pressure, memory problems, headaches, job impairment and much more. As the obesity epidemic in the U.S. increases, so too, does incidence of sleep apnea, although it can occur in people who are not overweight.

If you have concerns about sleep apnea, we can talk to you about next steps to get the relief you need. Often, we can order a sleep study and fabricate an oral appliance that will address your symptoms. For sleep apnea relief, the Southlake team of DaVinci Dentistry is here. Call 817-251-9333.

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