Researchers estimate that in the United States, 25% of middle-aged males and 17% of females have sleep apnea.
What is sleep apnea?
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing stops and starts during the night. Older, obese people are more at risk. It can be dangerous if untreated.
Three types of sleep apnea
There are three types of sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) describes a condition where your throat muscles relax. Central sleep apnea (CSA) occurs when the brain doesn’t send proper signals to control breathing. The final type is called complex sleep apnea syndrome. This form is present when a patient has both of the other two types.
As we mentioned previously, one out of four males in the U.S., and almost one out of five females suffer from sleep apnea. Clearly, it’s not an obscure condition that affects only a small portion of the population. One out of four. That makes sleep apnea almost as common as many well-known diseases.
Take cancer, for example. According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 39.5% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes.
A disease even more common than cancer is heart disease. Research indicates that nearly one-half of U.S. adults have some form of heart disease.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that puts your health at risk
Most Americans consider heart disease and cancer in serious diseases. However, many individuals don’t consider sleep disorders in serious conditions. This is a dangerous misconception. Why? Sleep apnea can have impacted your health in ways that are as serious as cancer or heart disease. In fact, sleep apnea can increase your risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.
There are multiple studies that have discovered a relationship between untreated sleep apnea and cancer and heart disease. Here is what two researchers have concluded in separate studies published recently:
“We’ve discovered that fragmented sleep is associated with a unique pathway–chronic circulating inflammation throughout the bloodstream–which, in turn, is linked to higher amounts of plaques in coronary arteries.” Matthew Walker, UC Berkeley professor of psychology and neuroscience
“Chronic hypoxemia (low blood oxygen) and fragmented sleep are mechanisms by which obstructive sleep apnea is proposed to contribute to cancer development.” Tetyana Kendzerska, MD, PhD, associate scientist at The Ottawa Hospital and assistant professor, Division of Respirology, University of Ottawa.
What are the symptoms of sleep apnea?
Common symptoms of sleep apnea
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
- Sleep deprivation
- Frequent, loud snoring
- Choking or gasping sounds
- Lapses in breathing during the night
- Mouth breathing
- Dry mouth/throat
- Morning headaches
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, schedule a consultation with Doctor Montz at Houston Sleep Solutions. There are effective treatments for sleep apnea. These include CPAP and custom-fitted dental appliances.
Contact Houston Sleep Solutions:
Location (Tap to open in Google Maps):