Obstructive Sleep Apnea Overview
Obstructive sleep apnea is due to a collapse of the upper airway during sleep, interrupting airflow and reducing blood oxygen levels during sleep. It is severely undiagnosed in the U.S. and those suffering from the condition are usually unaware they have it. In fact, it is often the spouse or loved one who first notices sleep apnea. Common signs include loud snoring, gasping or choking during sleep—sufferers stop breathing for 10 seconds or longer, up to hundreds of times per night- sometimes reducing blood oxygen to dangerously low levels.
Obstructive sleep apnea is also connected to a number of other serious health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, depression, weight gain, chronic daytime fatigue and erectile or sexual dysfunction. Diagnosing and treating sleep apnea can help control these conditions.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
During sleep apnea episodes, air doesn’t enter the body. The oxygen level in the bloodstream falls and the organs receive less oxygen. The heart may even try to compensate by pumping faster and raising blood pressure. With repeated obstructive sleep apnea episodes, the supply of oxygen to the other organs becomes progressively depleted—so instead of restful rejuvenation during sleep, the heart and organs actually become more stressed.
Additionally, the brain will arouse the person from deepest sleep to allow the resumption of airflow. While this may not wake the person fully, it will disrupt his or her sleep cycles. Because of this, sleep apnea sufferers will rarely get a full night’s rest.
How Do I Know if I Have Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Common signs of obstructive sleep apnea include:
Many people with sleep apnea (nearly 50%) also suffer with one or more serious health condition such as diabetes, hypertension or depression that is either aggravated or caused by sleep apnea.
What Happens if Sleep Apnea is not Treated?
If left untreated, the fatigue and restlessness associated with sleep apnea can severely affect a person’s quality of life. It often makes concentration difficult, decreases productivity at work and increases the risk of accidents and errors in daily activities.
Because sleep apnea is also connected to a number of other serious health conditions like Diabetes, Heart Conditions, Depression, Weight Gain, Daytime Fatigue, and Erectile or Sexual Dysfunction, not treating sleep apnea can aggravate the symptoms of those other conditions—which in some cases can be life-threatening.
If you think you or a loved one has sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about getting diagnosed in the comfort and privacy of your own home with a NovaSom Home Sleep Test. This information is intended for consumer education. Please discuss with your provider because only he or she can order a home sleep test.The benefits of Sleep Apnea Treatments will be life-changing.