Healthy Living

How to Avoid the Health Risks of Sleep Apnea

How to Avoid the Health Risks of Sleep Apnea

For human beings, sleep is a natural function that every individual finds necessary. In some cases, sleep can appear to be a rewarding benefit associated with the day-to-day life. However, the absence of sleep does not go unnoticed among individuals diagnosed with a sleeping disorder. So many common sleep disorders are overlooked on a daily basis, and this is extremely visible when examining the sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. In fact, “Most people who have sleep apnea don't know they have it because it only occurs during sleep. A family member or bed partner might be the first to notice signs of sleep apnea.”

If sleep apnea is suspected, certain steps must be taken to treat this condition. First and foremost, any individuals who are currently experiencing symptoms of sleep apnea need to consult with their doctor. Although much is known about this common sleep disorder, not much awareness is brought to the sleep apnea community.

Researchers claim that “sleep apnea often goes undiagnosed. Doctors usually can't detect the condition during routine office visits. Also, no blood test can help diagnose the condition.” Sleep apnea is also linked to several undesirable health conditions. These health conditions include certain heart disorders such as heart disease and other non-communicable afflictions such as diabetes and high blood pressure. However, because of the advancement of modern medicine, several highly effective treatment methods have been developed to combat sleep apnea and its health risks.

The overlooked issues with sleep apnea

Sleep apnea is a health condition that is complicated to discover from the patient’s perspective. The reasoning behind these complications rests in the fact that the health condition sleep apnea occurs while the patient is asleep. The dangers of sleep apnea are often overlooked by the general population, because of the condition's obscurity. According to the research conducted about this disease,“sleep apnea is a condition in which the airway becomes blocked during sleep, causing irregular or interrupted breathing. This creates shallow, fragmented sleep, which can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease.”

Oxygen deprivation during sleep is a serious indication of more serious potential health conditions. When it comes to breathing with sleep apnea, time is an essential factor. As oxygen deprivation is prolonged, the brain cells in an individual with sleep apnea slowly deteriorate. For instance, “Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes. They may occur 30 times or more an hour. Typically, normal breathing then starts again, sometimes with a loud snort or choking sound.”

Essentially, individuals that suffer from sleep apnea are choking in their sleep. This condition is commonly associated with snoring, however there is a difference between these two sleep occurrences. Snoring is only a symptom of sleep apnea, not an actual condition. From a mechanical perspective, “when you try to breathe, any air that squeezes past the blockage can cause loud snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is more common in people who are overweight, but it can affect anyone. For example, small children who have enlarged tonsil tissues in their throats may have obstructive sleep apnea.”

Although, not everyone that suffers from sleep apnea snores and not every individual that snores develops sleep apnea. Even with that principle, an individual that snores should consult with their physician. The health risks associated with sleep apnea also need to be examined by an individual who believes that they may have the condition.