Sleep apnea is a disease that affects breathing during sleep. The word apnea comes from the Greek word for “short breath”. Sleep apnea is a chronic health problem, and as such is a progressive condition, which means it is likely to get worse. If you or someone close to you suffers from sleep apnea, call Dr. Montz, Dr. Maher, or Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South.
Sleep apnea is not yet completely understood by the health field, although ongoing research continues. There are many people who do not even know that they suffer from sleep apnea. Sometimes a family member or friend needs to bring up the issue.
Sleep apnea is a dangerous health problem that can be life-threatening if left untreated. There are three types of sleep apnea – obstructive (OSA), central (CSA), and mixed and, out of these three, OSA is currently the most prevalent.
Obstructive sleep apnea can be mild, severe, and everything in between. The syndrome can easily go from mild to moderate or to severe. It is not “age-specific” and can affect individuals of any age, even children. Men and women have sleep apnea but it is more common in men than in women, especially overweight middle-aged men. This is assumed to be partly because men have larger necks than women.
Here are some sobering statistics regarding this surprisingly common affliction.
- Sleep apnea is prevalent in as many as 18 million Americans alone. This statistic denotes that approximately 1 in every 15 Americans, or 6.62% of the total American population have a case of sleep apnea.
- Research conducted at the University of California’s San Diego campus studied 54 African Americans and 346 Caucasians for the presence of sleep apnea. The results showed that a full 17 percent of African American test subjects had a case of obstructive sleep apnea present, compared to 8 percent of the Caucasian subjects. This denotes a hypothesis that African Americans stand an increased risk of obstructive sleep apnea.
- Two to four percent of all Americans have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. This accounts for approximately 1 in 50 individuals being undiagnosed.
- Due to the sleeplessness and lack of ability to concentrate that are associated with apnea, sufferers are six times more likely to die in a car accident. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has stated that drowsy driving is responsible for, at the very least, 100,000 car accidents, 40,000 injuries, and 1,550 deaths per year.
- More than 263,000 children per year undergo tonsillectomies. Most of these operations are performed due to the presence of sleep apnea in the children that is caused by the tonsils obstructing their airway.
- People that have an untreated case of sleep apnea face a risk of stroke that is four times as likely as those who are not afflicted. Untreated sleep apnea sufferers are also three times as likely to have heart disease.
- Roughly half of all hospital patients that have a case of hypertension are also afflicted with sleep apnea. Conversely, around half of all sleep apnea sufferers face a diagnosis of hypertension.
- According to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, approximately 38,000 deaths occur on an annual basis that relate to cardiovascular problems that in one way, or another are connected to sleep apnea. These problems include high blood pressure and stroke, among others. An estimated six million American residents suffer from sleep apnea that is moderate to severe and may necessitate a late-night visit to the emergency room. Unfortunately, a great many people do not, as previously mentioned, even realize that they suffer from sleep apnea. This number is somewhere around 500,000 individuals.
At Houston Sleep Solutions, sleep apnea and its treatment is our specialty. If you or your loved ones have trouble sleeping, give us a call and make an appointment today!
Dr. Montz, Dr. Maher, or Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South will be able to help you determine if sleep apnea treatment is right for you.
Locations (Tap to open in Google Maps):
2443 S Galveston Ave
Pearland, Texas 77581
Pearland Phone: 281-485-4829
1769 S. Friendswood Dr. Ste 107
Friendswood, TX 77546
Friendswood Phone: 281-482-1275