Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that affects over 22 million Americans. While it does have common symptoms such as obesity, sleep apnea also has a variety of lesser-known causes and risk factors. If you struggle with sleep apnea, the more you know about the disorder, the more likely you’ll make informed decisions that lead to a recovery. Discover some of the key facts about sleep apnea that will help you understand the nature and severity of the disorder.
80% of Sleep Apnea Cases Go Undiagnosed
Since symptoms like snoring, fatigue, and sleeplessness can be caused by any number of conditions, very few people actually seek treatment for their sleep apnea. When people have problems with sleeping, it may not occur to them that medical help is needed. Many people associate the need for medical help with pain or illness, but the effects of sleep apnea can be just as devastating to your health.
A Sleep Test is Required for Diagnosis – But It Can Be Done at Home
While a combination of symptoms isn’t enough to diagnose sleep apnea, a sleep test can be taken either at a clinic or even at home. The sleep test monitors your body while you sleep and can ultimately determine whether or not you have sleep apnea.
The home sleep test involves a device that you keep attached to your chest at night to monitor the quality of your sleep. Whichever method you prefer, getting a diagnosis is the first step towards regaining your ability to sleep.
The Best Medicine May Be a Change in Your Lifestyle
Many of the most common causes of sleep apnea involve lifestyle choices, and oftentimes, those are the key to reversing the symptoms as well. For example, obesity is one of the most common causes of obstructive sleep apnea, with the vast majority of sleep apnea sufferers being obese. Here are some examples of lifestyle changes that can help relieve your sleep apnea:
- Choosing a healthy diet that’s conducive to losing weight
- Starting a fitness plan to stimulate weight loss
- Reduce your consumption of alcohol, especially at night
- Stop consuming caffeine products early in the afternoon
- Avoid tobacco products including cigarettes and chewing tobacco
Sleep Apnea Can Lead to Life-Threatening Conditions
Research shows that untreated sleep apnea is linked to heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, and diabetes. The body needs quality sleep in order to replenish its stores and keep its organs running smoothly, and not getting this sleep has a devastating effect on your long-term health. To avoid the onset of serious diseases, it’s highly recommended that patients seek treatment for their sleep apnea at the earliest opportunity.
A Consultation With Dr. MacFarlane Will Answer Your Questions
It makes perfect sense to have questions about your sleep apnea diagnosis. The disorder is simple in nature but has a host of wide-reaching causes and consequences that make it confusing to many patients. If you want to get clear answers and learn about treatment plans that stand the best chance of success for your unique conditions, don’t wait – contact Silent Sleep RX to schedule a consultation today.