How often does sleep apnea happen?

When you stop breathing, oxygen levels drop significantly and can affect your heart, brain, and blood pressure. Find more places to test for COVID-19 in Maryland, gov. You've probably heard that regular exercise and a heart-healthy diet are the most important things you can do for your cardiovascular health. However, it turns out that the quality of sleep you get is also critical to your heart's well-being.

In particular, undiagnosed sleep apnea is directly related to increased cardiovascular and metabolic health risks. The scariest part? You may not even know that you have this very common problem. Sleep apnea occurs in about 3 percent of people with normal weight, but it affects more than 20 percent of obese people, Jun. In general, sleep apnea affects men more than women.

However, rates of sleep apnea increase significantly in women after menopause. Sleep apnea is often linked to heart disease and metabolic problems, such as diabetes. That said, snoring in and of itself, even if it's annoying, is not the same thing as sleep apnea. Snoring is just the vibrating sound created by airway resistance.

You can snore loudly and not have sleep apnea, and you can even have sleep apnea without snoring much. People with sleep apnea can also suffer from unexplained fatigue and mood changes, as breathing interruptions continuously wake them up and prevent them from enjoying deep, nutritious sleep. The consequences can be significant, says Jun. Other patients may wake up with a dry mouth, as sleep apnea tends to cause you to breathe with your mouth open and dry your saliva.

Some people wake up with a headache, which can be caused by low oxygen or carbon dioxide levels during sleep. Several studies have shown an association between sleep apnea and problems such as type 2 diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and even a shorter life expectancy, says Jun. Why this connection? On the one hand, obesity is common in patients with sleep apnea, and obesity significantly increases the risks of diabetes, strokes and heart attacks, he says. However, it's important to note that not everyone with sleep apnea is obese.

In addition, evidence suggests an independent link between sleep apnea and diabetes. For people who are overweight or obese, weight loss is key to treating or preventing sleep apnea. People who accumulate fat on their neck, tongue, and upper abdomen are especially vulnerable to sleep apnea. This weight reduces the diameter of the throat and puts pressure on the lungs, contributing to the collapse of the respiratory tract during sleep.

Women, in particular, should be careful as they age. Although premenopausal women tend to gain weight in their hips and lower body rather than their abdomen, this changes over time. Weight begins to accumulate in traditionally “masculine” areas, such as the belly, and this increases the chances of suffering from sleep apnea. Treating sleep apnea is important because it can have long-term health consequences.

Although there have been some high-profile deaths related to sleep apnea, such as that of Judge Antonin Scalia, Jun says that the real risk comes from the damage caused over time. Obstructive sleep apnea can range from mild to severe, depending on a measurement system called the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). The AHI measures the number of breathing pauses you experience per hour you sleep. Whether or not you need treatment for sleep apnea depends on how severe it is and whether or not you have symptoms such as drowsiness and other health conditions.

For example, if you have risk factors for heart disease, your doctor may choose to treat you even for mild sleep apnea. On the other hand, if you have a severe case of sleep apnea, your doctor may insist on treatment even if you're not sleepy. The main treatment option is a breathing device called CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine. A CPAP machine conducts humidified air through your nose, which creates air pressure to keep your throat open while you sleep.

Many studies show that regular use of CPAP lowers blood pressure and improves daytime wakefulness. People with sleep apnea who use CPAP also report a better quality of life. In some observational studies that compare people with apnea who use CPAP with those who don't, CPAP users have a lower risk of stroke and heart attack and a decrease in blood glucose, Jun. If you or your partner have noticed signs of sleep apnea, see your doctor.

A sleep specialist may request a sleep apnea test, which uses equipment to monitor breathing and oxygen levels while you sleep. Often, you'll visit a lab to spend the night monitoring it. Other times, it is possible to use a portable kit to take home. You'll rest more at ease knowing the results.

Sleep apnea is rare, but it's widespread. Experts estimate that it affects between 5 and 10% of people worldwide. The severity of sleep apnea varies from person to person. It's completely normal to experience breathing pauses of up to five times an hour for adults and once an hour for children.

They are thought to be part of normal sleep. It's always best to consult with experts such as Dr. Dunwody at Houston Sleep Solutions South in Houston, Texas. For these people, a structural problem is often the cause of their apnea, so they can't prevent it.

Research indicates that cases of obstructive sleep apnea have increased significantly over the past two decades. Under normal circumstances, your brain manages your breathing all the time, even while you sleep. Dunwody, from Houston Sleep Solutions South, can help you determine if an oral appliance is right for you. These events seem to increase towards the morning, which, incidentally, is when REM sleep occurs more and when more episodes of sleep apnea may occur.

It's time to pay attention to the risks of sleep apnea, because women begin to outperform men in apnea rates after menopause, Jun. If you ignore this common sleep disorder, you increase your risk of having many other health problems and you may be putting other people at risk. Each type of sleep apnea is characterized by many of the same distinctive symptoms, but the mechanism (or cause) of sleep apnea is somewhat different between each type. If they suspect sleep apnea based on your symptoms and responses, they'll probably want you to get tested for sleep apnea.

These treatments or non-medical approaches can usually improve or resolve obstructive sleep apnea. They concluded that more research is needed to better define the condition and to further study which treatments are most effective in treating complex sleep apnea. These are the key differences between obstructive sleep apnea, central sleep apnea, and complex sleep apnea. .

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