Sleep Apnea: A Brief Overview
Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms and consult your doctor if you think you might have it. Treating sleep apnea with CPAP therapy can help you get the rest you need and take back control of your life.
What Causes Sleep Apnea?
There are three main types of sleep apnea, but the most common is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When we sleep, the throat relaxes. For people with OSA, sometimes they relax so much that the airway becomes narrowed or blocked. As a result, air flow is reduced or completely stops flowing into the upper airway and the lungs, so the body doesn’t get the oxygen it needs to function.
Obstructive sleep apnea is caused by a variety of factors, including:
-Anatomy of the upper airway: People who have smaller airways may be more likely to experience obstruction.
-Weight: Excess weight can lead to deposition of excess tissue in the throat, which can narrow the airway.
-Smoking: Smoking can cause inflammation and fluid build-up in the upper airway, leading to obstruction.
-Age: Sleep apnea is more common in middle-aged adults and older adults.
It’s important to note that sleep apnea can occur in people of any age, including children.
Sleep Apnea Impacts More Than 936 Million People Worldwide
Sleep apnea isn’t just a problem for individuals—it’s a global problem. A recent study found that more than 936 million people worldwide suffer from sleep apnea. That’s one in seven people! And while it affects people of all ages, people sleep apnea is most common in middle-aged adults and older adults. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a variety of health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and depression. It can also lead to fatigue and drowsy driving, which increases the risk of car accidents.
If you think you might have sleep apnea, don’t wait to get treated. Consult your family doctor and talk about your options for treatment.
CPAP therapy is an effective treatment for sleep apnea, and it can help you get the rest you need to take back control of your life.