(CSN) You may think of your snoring or your bed partner’s snoring as just an annoying occurrence during the night. Before you dismiss snoring as a harmless, regular part of your night, you may want to know that 1 in 5 Canadians have sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when a person stops breathing or has pauses in their breathing during sleep. When a snorer repeatedly stops breathing, it can lead to a host of serious health conditions that can potentially be life-threatening.
Sleep Apnea is not just snoring or feeling tired during the day.
Sleep apnea involves pauses or stops in breathing during sleep that can last from a few seconds to minutes and may occur 30 times or more an hour. During these breathing pauses, the brain and the body may not get enough oxygen. These breathing pause episodes often end with a loud snort or choking sound when the sleeper wakes and returns to normal breathing. Sleep apnea prevents restful sleep and is associated with or can lead to many health issues that go beyond daily fatigue. Here are 4 conditions linked to snoring and sleep apnea that you should know about:
1. Stroke / High Blood Pressure
People with untreated sleep apnea have a 4 x higher risk of a stroke. When sleep apnea is untreated, high blood pressure occurs because of the strain of low oxygen levels in the blood. High blood pressure is a risk for stroke and so sleep apnea is an indirect cause of stroke.
2. Heart Disease
If you have sleep apnea, you are also more likely to have coronary artery disease which occurs when the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to your heart become narrow. Narrowed coronary arteries can lead to heart attacks. People with untreated severe obstructive sleep apnea are twice as likely to die from heart disease.
This is one of the more everyday dangers of sleep deprivation caused by snoring or sleep apnea. Extreme sleepiness during the daytime puts you and the people around you at risk. If snoring or sleep apnea is leaving you exhausted, you run the risk of falling asleep while driving or completing other critical tasks. Adults with untreated sleep apnea are twice as likely to fall asleep while driving.
4. Mental Health Issues
Sleep apnea can affect your mental well-being, leading to issues from general irritability caused by a lack of sleep to serious depression. People with untreated sleep apnea are twice as likely to suffer from depression or anxiety.â€‹
The great news is sleep apnea is easily treated.
There are several treatment options, but the most effective therapy to treat moderate and severe sleep apnea is Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). CPAP sleep systems are small, quiet devices with a mask that uses a small amount of air pressure to keep the airways open during sleep. Sleep therapy involves more than just a CPAP machine. A highly trained and accredited sleep therapist will provide you the support you need to have success with CPAP treatment. Respiratory Homecare Solutions (RHS) provides unlimited access to accredited sleep care to ensure you benefit from your sleep apnea therapy. We also provide Service For Life, a long-term premium patient support program that includes free follow-up appointments, mask fit comfort guarantees, remote adjustments and equipment assistance. So, if you think you or your bed partner may have sleep apnea then discuss your concerns with a doctor and seek treatment from RHS. Contact us today for more information on our sleep apnea treatment services.â€‹