What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is defined as “a potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts.” That’s why it’s so important that one recognizes such an issue at an early stage, so that it can be treated, rather than getting worse, resulting in something as fatal as death. In turn, the best way to do this is by first looking at all the factors of the condition itself, and/or the reason(s) and risks behind it so that one can gain a deeper understanding of what it means to have sleep apnea. 

Two of the biggest factors that involve sleep apnea are a person’s age, and a person’s weight. Age is of great importance because the older that one gets the more difficulty may arise in the area of sleep. A person’s weight can also impact this since “weight gain can cause fat to accumulate in the neck area, obstructing breathing and leading to sleep apnea.” 

As a result, someone who snores loudly, or feels fatigued after a night of rest, holds the possibility of having sleep apnea. Consequently, many do not notice their breathing habits when they go to bed at night, since they’ve succumbed to a deep sleep. The same goes for those who live alone because they have no one to let them know that there may be a potential problem, and that they should seek out the expertise of a medical professional.

In addition to this, many feel fatigued when they wake up in the morning but dismiss it. For several go about each day with a lack of sufficient rest, running on empty. Unfortunately, an individual who is faced with sleep apnea may do the same, and not even notice that he/she has the disorder because of little rest being such a norm in our modern-day society. That’s why it’s important that someone pays close attention to changes in his/her sleeping habits so that they can better distinguish if something consequential has taken place. 

In conclusion, noticing the signs, before it’s too late to do so, is essential. Some of the things that people who have sleep apnea may experience are “excessive daytime sleepiness, insomnia, loud breathing, dry mouth, fatigue, headache, irritability, weight gain, and episodes of no breathing” among several others. Yet, even so, treatment is available through implementing “lifestyle changes, such as weight loss, and the use of a breathing assistance device at night, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine.”

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