Sleep apnea affects millions of people throughout the world, but it is often shrouded in mystery. Understanding the sleep apnea facts can help take some of the fear out of the diagnosis to improve your quality of sleep and overall well-being.
1. Sleep apnea is extremely common.
As many as one out of every four men and one out of every 10 women suffer from sleep apnea. Unfortunately, many of them may not recognize the symptoms. This means that not only are they going untreated, but they may also be facing serious associated health risks.
2. Symptoms are not always obvious.
Loud snoring every time you sleep is a pretty noticeable symptom. However, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea, and not every person with sleep apnea snores. Other symptoms include daytime sleepiness, high blood pressure, depression or irritability, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and weight gain. Some may also wakeup with a headache, sore throat or dry mouth.
3. It can affect anyone.
While many think that sleep apnea is primarily a disease that affects older overweight men, the truth is that sleep apnea can affect people of all ages and all body types. Women become more susceptible to sleep apnea with age, and extra weight can increase your risk, as well.
4. Complications can be serious.
If your sleep apnea goes undetected and untreated, your health may be at serious risk. Sleep apnea can leave you more vulnerable to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression and obesity. If you have any sleep apnea symptoms, talk to a doctor about getting a sleep apnea test. An overseen sleep study can give you an accurate, timely diagnosis in order to get the treatment you need.
5. Sleep apnea is treatable.
Although the diagnosis can be scary, sleep apnea is highly treatable. We may first recommend making some lifestyle changes that can help reduce your risk factors. Weight loss, smoking cessation, limiting alcohol consumption and adjusting medications may all be helpful for some patients. Other common treatments include using a sleep apnea oral device or a sleep apnea machine. You will need to use these every night to get the maximum benefit, but most people adjust quickly and enjoy dramatic symptom relief.
Call us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment with our team.