Sleep apnea, which affects about 18 million Americans, is an incredibly scary condition to have. It is characterized by small periods of time when an individual actually stops breathing in their sleep. Besides being dangerous on its own, not managing this condition can lead to many other issues.
People who leave sleep apnea untreated are four times more likely to have a stroke and three times more likely to have heart attacks. This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons to get tested and start managing sleep apnea. About one in 50, or 2-4%, of Americans are dealing with undiagnosed cases of sleep apnea. The health issues related to going undiagnosed are scary. In addition to heart disease and stroke, there is the risk of high blood pressure, decreased concentration and focus, and even sudden death.
A less serious reason to manage this condition is that you'll get better sleep! If you sleep with a partner, they'll likely get better sleep as well. Apneas have a tendency to wake people up multiple times throughout the night, so by treating it, you can sleep straight through the night and feel well-rested in the morning.
The great thing about managing this condition is that there are numerous treatment options, many of which have been around for years. CPAP masks, for example, have been around for decades, and are one of the easiest ways to manage sleep apnea. Another sleep apnea machine is a bipap mask, which works nearly the same way as a CPAP mask, but with slight alterations. A doctor can advise on whether you should use bipap or cpap masks.
Do you or a love one struggle with sleep apnea? What kinds of treatment have you used? Do you agree that the management of this condition is important? Let us know your thoughts and comments!