6 Facts You Should Know About Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a common yet often misunderstood sleep disorder. Its prevalence and potential consequences make it a significant public health concern. So, it is essential to consult with a dentist in Downtown Chicago if you suspect any symptoms of sleep apnea.

Here, we delve into six surprising facts about sleep apnea that everyone should know.

#1 Undiagnosed Cases are Rampant

An alarming fact about sleep apnea is that a large number of cases remain undiagnosed. It’s estimated that approximately 80% of sleep apnea cases go unnoticed and untreated. This is partly because many people are unaware of the symptoms or don’t realize they’re experiencing them. Regular snoring, for instance, is often dismissed as harmless when it could be an indication of sleep apnea.

#2 Breathing Disruptions Can Occur Hundreds of Times Nightly

People with sleep apnea can experience hundreds of episodes of breathing disruptions in a single night. These episodes, which involve a temporary halt in breathing, can last for several seconds up to a minute. In addition, they often result in a drop in oxygen levels in the blood, prompting the brain to wake the person up to resume breathing. This constant sleep interruption can lead to daily fatigue and other health issues.

#3 Sleep Apnea Isn’t Just for Men

While sleep apnea is more common in men, women are not immune. Many women may go undiagnosed due to the misconception that sleep apnea is predominantly a male disorder. However, the risk of sleep apnea increases in women after menopause, highlighting the need for increased awareness and diagnosis in this population.

#4 Obesity is a Major Risk Factor

Obesity greatly increases the risk of developing sleep apnea. Excess weight can contribute to the accumulation of fat around the throat area, which can obstruct the airway during sleep. However, it’s essential to note that not all people with sleep apnea are overweight, and not all overweight people have sleep apnea.

#5 Sleep Apnea Can Occur Without Snoring

Snoring is a common symptom of sleep apnea, but it’s possible to have the disorder without snoring. For example, some individuals may experience silent pauses in breathing or choking noises. Therefore, it’s important not to rule out sleep apnea just because snoring isn’t present.

#6 Treatment is More Convenient Than Ever

The diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea have become more convenient thanks to advancements in medical technology. There are several treatment options available for sleep apnea nowadays. For instance, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy, the most common form of treatment, has also brought improvements in comfort and ease of use.

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