Common Risk Factors for Sleep Apnea

senior couple hugging and laughing after learning about sleep apnea

Sleep apnea causes a number of inconveniences and can heighten your risk of certain serious medical problems. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea. At Caring Smiles, serving Fort Collins, CO and the surrounding region, we want to educate our patients about the common risk factors and offer our patients an alternative to CPAPs and BiPAPs.

Excessive Weight

Obesity greatly increases your risk for sleep apnea. Fat deposits around your upper airway and can obstruct your breathing.

Narrow Airways

Some people are born with narrower airways than others. Often, this is a result of heredity. Children naturally have narrower airways and may have enlarged tonsils or adenoids. This can increase a child’s risk.

Larger Neck Circumference

A person may have a larger neck circumference. When this occurs, a person might have a narrower airway as a result.

Being Male

Gender plays a role in the onset of sleep apnea. Although women are at a greater risk of sleep apnea after menopause, a man is two to three times more likely to develop this condition than a woman.


Age is another factor when it comes to your chance of sleep apnea. Older adults are more likely to develop sleep apnea than younger adults and children.


You’re at a greater risk of sleep apnea if you have a family member who has it.

Allergies & Anatomic Nasal Problems

If you have allergies or issues that affect the anatomic structure of your nasal passages, the likelihood of you developing sleep apnea elevates.

Certain Medications & Alcohol

Whether you use sedatives or tranquilizers as prescribed or recreationally, you’re increasing your chances of having sleep apnea since these medications relax your throat muscles. Alcohol has the same effect.


You’re three times more likely to have sleep apnea if you smoke. Smoking causes inflammation in your airways. Additionally, this habit enhances the amount of fluid retention in your airways as well.

We Can Help with Sleep Apnea!

If you have risk factors for sleep apnea or already have sleep apnea, Caring Smiles can help without the use of a CPAP or BiPAP. Contact our Fort Collins, CO dentist today to discuss our treatment approach.

Ask us about sleep apnea treatment!