Many people are at least aware of a condition called sleep apnea, but not many people are familiar with sleep apnea causes, treatments, or even what exactly the condition entails. With about 18 million Americans suffering from the condition, it is important to be educated on the subject, so that there are more people able to get diagnosed and treated. With a condition such as sleep apnea, treatment is of the utmost importance.
The condition is characterized by numerous instances during a person’s sleep where their throat or mouth relaxes too much, effectively blocking their airways. When the person stops breathing, it often wakes them up with a start. On average, someone suffering from this will have up to 60 apneas an hour, leading to sleep being difficult or nearly impossible. It also causes many scary health issues.
About one in 50, or 2 to 4%, of all Americans are dealing with an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. Leaving this condition untreated however, leaves people four times more likely to suffer a stroke and three times more likely to develop heart disease than those who are unaffected. They are also open to all of the issues that come with a lack of sleep. These consequences range from weight gain, depression, and aging, to loss of concentration and/or focus, to diabetes, and even death.
Luckily, treatments have become more available, with a range of treatments offered. Sleep apnea machines such as BiPAP masks and CPAP masks are the most popular of the treatments. These machines pump air through the mask, maintaining “positive airway pressure” throughout the night. It makes it impossible for the airway to close, allowing you to sleep soundly. It also reduces your risk for the consequences that can come from having this condition.