Snoring, tossing and turning, and waking up in a fog—if you experience these things, it might be more than just a bad night’s sleep. It could be sleep apnea.
This condition is more common than most people think. In fact, more than 18 million adults in the United States have it. Although people think of and dismiss sleep apnea as just another inconvenience, the condition is a dangerous problem that can cause a range of health complications.
You’d be surprised to learn about some of the more interesting sleep apnea facts most people don’t know about:
Many People Have Sleep Apnea But Don’t Know It
If you think sleep apnea is uncommon, think again. In fact, you might even have it. People think sleep apnea only occurs in a few people because it often goes undiagnosed. This is particularly true for obstructive sleep apnea, which is its most common form. This occurs when airways are blocked or constricted while you sleep.
The CPAP Machine is Not the Only Solution
Continuous Positive Air Pressure (CPAP) machines are one of the most popular treatments for sleep apnea. However, many patients cannot tolerate CPAP therapy. More often than not, there are negative side effects of using CPAP, including nose irritation, nasal congestion, bloating, and headaches. Folks at Pacific Eye & Ear Specialists recommend surgery instead, such as septoplasty, which helps remove the tissue causing the blockage.
Sleep Apnea Can Be Fatal
Unfortunately, aside from robbing you of a good night’s sleep, sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of serious long-term health problems. These include heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and even stroke.
It Doesn’t Only Affect Overweight Men
Being overweight or obese increases the risk of developing the condition, but even a well-conditioned athlete may have similar problems. Weight is a major risk factor, as the fatty tissue at the back of the throat can block the airway. However, a thin person with a narrowed airway can suffer from sleep apnea as well.
It’s important not to be too complacent. Remember that anyone can develop sleep apnea, and anyone can have an increased risk of serious health problems due to it, so have yourself checked.