The short answer is probably. About 18 million Americans suffer from this sleep disorder and of those, about 80% are undiagnosed. Both men and women suffer from the condition, even though men are at a higher risk. Babies and children can also suffer from the disorder. Those most at risk are people who are over the age of 50 and those who are overweight.
What You Don’t Know Might Kill You or Shorten Your Life
The most common form of sleep apnea is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), in which the airway is blocked or collapses while you sleep. Snoring is one of the major symptoms of OSA and in the majority of cases, is likely to go ignored. The problem with ignoring the snoring is that your OSA is also being ignored; and without treatment, this condition can lead to serious health problems and shorten your longevity.
OSA restricts the amount of oxygen you inhale during sleep. This means your brain gets less oxygen, along with other parts of your body, including your heart and lungs. Research shows that approximately 80% of all heart attacks occurring during sleep are directly attributed to OSA. Without treatment, this sleeping disorder could shorten your life by 12 to 15 years.
Serious Health Issues
Breathing brings oxygen to the lungs, where it is transferred to the bloodstream and distributed to other parts of the body. When you stop breathing, your heart rate drops. The brain then signals your body to awake, which quickly accelerates the heart rate and causes your blood pressure to rise. This constant stopping and starting has a detrimental effect on the body.
The rise in blood pressure causes the heart walls to thicken because of the increased workload. This causes your heart tissue to become less flexible and stiffer as more fibrous cells begin to grow in between the muscle cells. This condition can create atrial or ventricular arrhythmias and the heart becomes less efficient in pumping blood.
Your lack of restful sleep will also affect your ability to concentrate. You may experience forgetfulness or irritability. Recently, a new study has found that, unsurprisingly, OSA has been linked to an increased risk of dementia. The constant waking and sleeping do not allow the body to reach the restorative phase of sleep, or stay in that phase long enough to provide healing results.
Although there is no cure for OSA, it can be treated. The first step is to seek diagnosis and treatment. There are various forms of treatment used to address OSA, so you can get the sleep your body needs. Contact Atlanta Sleep Apnea Treatment Center and schedule a consultation appointment.
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