Health Tip of the Week, sponsored by Baton Rouge General: Thick neck, big problems

Increased neck circumference can lead to some negative outcomes like snoring and sleep apnea. A thicker neck – larger than 17 inches for men and 15.5 inches for women – usually means a narrower airway, especially when lying down. With a partially obstructed path, the air has a harder time passing through the throat and to the lungs, and the squeezing creates what you hear as snoring or wheezing. If the airway completely closes off, you could have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a breathing disorder that causes you to repeatedly stop and start breathing while you sleep. Unchecked OSA is associated with daytime drowsiness and conditions including cardiovascular issues, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and depression. Learn more about thick neck problems.