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Don’t Let Sleep Apnea Ruin Your Life, Your Relationships, and Your Health
Sleep apnea is a very serious condition, yet more than 80% of people who have it are undiagnosed. This means out of the 24 million plus people that have it, approximately 19.2 million don’t even know they have it.
This is tragic in many cases as they develop life-threatening health issues. They don’t even know that their health problems are tied directly to their lack of sleep due to sleep apnea.
Your body needs sleep in order to reboot and repair itself. Lack of sleep causes oxygen levels to decrease and carbon dioxide levels to increase. Your brain signals your body to wake up and start breathing again.
These micro-awakenings have a severe impact on your quality of sleep and overall health.
Who Is At Risk For Developing Sleep Apnea?
There is no one that is immune to sleep apnea. However, there are some who are at risk more than others. Here is a list of factors and a brief explanation:
- Excess weight. Most but not all people with obstructive sleep apnea are overweight. Fat deposits around the upper airway may obstruct breathing. Medical conditions that are associated with obesity, such as hypothyroidism and polycystic ovary syndrome, also can cause obstructive sleep apnea.
- However, not everyone with obstructive sleep apnea is overweight and vice versa. Thin people can develop the disorder, too.
- Narrowed airway. You may inherit naturally narrow airways. Or your tonsils or adenoids may enlarge, which can block your airway.
- High blood pressure (hyper-tension). Obstructive sleep apnea is relatively common in people with hypertension.
- Chronic nasal congestion. Ob-structive sleep apnea occurs twice as often in those with consistent nasal congestion at night, regardless of the cause. This may be due to narrowed airways.
- Smoking. People who smoke are more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea.
- Diabetes. Obstructive sleep apnea may be more common in people with diabetes.
- Sex. In general, men are twice as likely as premenopausal women to have obstructive sleep apnea. The frequency of obstructive sleep apnea increases in women after menopause.
- A family history of sleep apnea. If you have family members with obstructive sleep apnea, you may be at increased risk.
- Asthma. Research has found an association between asthma and the risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
How Do You Know If You Might Have Sleep Apnea?
There are several signals you might have sleep apnea, but two of them are prominent. One is daytime sleepiness. You don’t sleep at night so you are tired and fatigued all day. The other is snoring. It is a sign that your airway is obstructed.
The way to know for sure is to have a sleep study. This will tell you whether or not you have it and how severe it is. Call a sleep apnea specialist today and be on your way to a better nights rest and better health.
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