Sleep Apnea and Misconceptions

There are many misunderstandings about Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) that can be harmful. It’s easy to believe that old, overweight men are the only ones at risk for OSA, but that’s not true. 

People in all stages of life and body shapes have OSA, though some are more at risk than others. Learn how the lifestyle of bodybuilders can make them more prone to developing sleep apnea.

The Relationship Between OSA and BMI

A higher BMI is often associated with the development of OSA. This means that people who are overweight are at risk for the condition, and losing weight is a doctor-recommended method of alleviating symptoms.

Because of this, it may be hard to believe that someone who’s in the gym all the time can have such a condition. But weightlifters are focused on putting on extreme amounts of muscle, often pushing their BMI above the norm for their height and age.

person standing on scale with a measuring tape in the foreground
measuring the circumference of the neck

Neck Circumference and OSA

Other than weight, neck circumference is one of the best predictors of sleep apnea issues. A neck circumference of more than 17 inches for men and 16 inches for women is a risk factor. 

The thicker your neck is, the heavier it probably is. A heavy neck can impede breathing while you’re laying down and squash your airway. Bodybuilders’ necks are especially heavy because they’re highly muscular.

Maintaining a Bodybuilder’s Lifestyle

muscular bodybuilder man in the gym

If you’re a bodybuilder facing sleep apnea, one option is to change your lifestyle and stop bodybuilding. However, it may not be necessary for you to give this up in order to improve your sleep apnea. Medical professionals like Dr. Simmons can help you continue your passion without endangering your life.

Get a Diagnosis

Sleep studies are the method by which sleep disorders are diagnosed. This test can be administered at a sleep clinic or through a take-home version. Both methods monitor your body while you’re asleep to detect any abnormalities that may be causing you issues.

Seek Treatment Options

Once you have a diagnosis, you can seek a treatment method that works for you. CPAP machines are the most common treatment, but there are also custom mouth guards called oral appliances that are often just as effective.

Protecting Your Body By Visiting Dr. Simmons

Dr. Simmons can help you maintain your lifestyle without harming your health. He can provide comfortable and personalized sleep apnea treatment options that allow you to sleep through the night. Treatment can also grant you more energy for working out and bettering your body.

To learn more about how Dr. Simmons can help you, contact our office by calling or by filling out our online contact form. We’ll be with you quickly to discuss any questions and concerns you have.