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Facts About Sleep Apnea

not getting enough sleep? or just not getting quality sleep?

Most people are familiar with the feeling of being tired after a bad night’s sleep. But for those suffering from sleep apnea, this fatigue is more than just an occasional inconvenience. Sleep apnea is a condition that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted while sleeping. This can happen dozens or even hundreds of times per night, affecting both sleep quality and the body’s supply of oxygen. These disruptions can lead to potentially serious medical conditions including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also lead to daytime fatigue and increase the risk of accidents. Here are some essential facts about sleep apnea everyone should know.

8 important facts about sleep apnea

1. An estimated 30 million American adults have obstructive sleep apnea. Worldwide, there may be one billion sufferers.

2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea and is caused by a blockage of the upper airway. This blockage may be due to extra tissue in the back of the throat, decreased muscle tone, or the tongue falling back and closing off the airway.

3. Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

4. When a person has both OSA and CSA, it is referred to as mixed sleep apnea or complex sleep apnea.

5. 4% of middle-aged men and 2% of middle-aged women have OSA.

6. Most OSA sufferers remain undiagnosed and untreated.

7. OSA is as common as adult asthma.

8. The risk of having sleep apnea increases with age.

Treatment for Sleep Apnea

The good news for sleep apnea sufferers is that there are effective treatments that can help you get the restful sleep you need and reduce your risk of long-term health complications. Continuous positive airway pressure or CPAP is often the first line of treatment. CPAP machines use gentle air pressure to keep your airway open while you sleep. Other common treatments include dental appliances and lifestyle changes such as weight loss and smoking cessation. If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea after reading these facts about sleep apnea, talk to your doctor about getting tested and finding the right treatment for you.

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