One of the biggest health conditions that go undetected is sleep apnea. This is because the condition often occurs when a person is sleeping. Even more disconcerting is that there are several life-threatening conditions that may be overlooked.
Sleep apnea is a health condition that interferes with your breathing. Typically, a person with sleep apnea will oftentimes stop breathing while they sleep. The episodes can last anywhere from a few seconds to a couple of minutes. In addition, you can start and stop breathing more than 25 times an hour, depending on the extent of your sleep apnea.
Signs that you may have Sleep Apnea
Although it can be hard to detect sleep apnea symptoms while you are sleeping, there are signs that you and your loved ones can look for. The most common symptoms include
- Loud snoring
- Changes in mood
- Sex drive decreases
- Restless during sleep
- Headaches in the morning
- Sore throat or dry mouth wakes you up at night
- Tiredness and reduced and energy during daytime
Health Dangers of Sleep Apnea
Frankly, many people are unaware that they have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is condition that can go undetected or it is not taken seriously. However, the dangers of sleep apnea are real. In fact, the condition can cause big health issues that are life threatening.
According to WebMD, there are 7 ways sleep apnea can hurt your health.
- High Blood Pressure – In truth, if you already have high blood pressure, sleep apnea can make it worse. Lack of sleep causes stress on the body. In result, your hormones are overworked which in turn increases your blood pressure. As well, the levels of oxygen in your blood decrease making it hard to breathe.
- Type 2 Diabetes – OSA is very common with people who have Type 2 Diabetes. In fact, studies show that about 80% of type 2 diabetics have sleep apnea.
- Heart Disease – People who have sleep apnea are at a greater risk of heart disease, especially heart attacks. This is because lower levels of oxygen increase strokes and atrial fibrillation (rapid heartbeat).
- Obesity & Weight Gain- Your chances of getting OSA are drastically increased if you are overweight… When you are overweight, the fatty deposits around your neck block air passages that allow you to breathe properly. To top it off, the condition makes it hard to lose weight.
- Acid Reflex – People with heartburn issues often claim that apnea is the cause, although there has not been any study to support this claim. However, it appears that acid reflex symptoms are improved when sleep apnea is treated.
- Adult Asthma – Although it hasn’t been proven that OSA can cause adult asthma, people with asthma who receive apnea treatment actually have fewer attacks. On the downside, sleep apnea may cause asthma attacks.
- Automobile Accidents – A person with sleep apnea is often sleepy and tired. In addition, their attention span is greatly reduced. Sadly, being groggy can affect a person driving ability that oftentimes results in an accident. As well, lack of sleep makes you more apt to doze off at the wheel.
Getting Help and Solutions
If your partner of a loved one says that you stop breathing while you sleep, it is highly recommended that you see a specialist to get tested. The dangers of sleep apnea can be severe and should never be ignored.
The good news is that sleep apnea can be treated. In fact, treatments may give you more energy, better focus, reduce the risk of many health issues, and help you lose weight.
If you suspect that you have sleep apnea, do not hesitate to see as specialist as soon as possible.