OSA – those three letters can mean a lot to people who haven’t had a restful night’s sleep in ages and aren’t quite sure why. OSA stands for obstructive sleep apnea, a sneaky problem that affects many people. In fact, eight out of ten people who suffer from this issue don’t even know it.
Here are three frequently asked questions that can help you get a handle on the disease.
1) What is it?
In the simplest terms, this disorder means you stop breathing while you are asleep.
In more medical terms, there is an actual cause for it. When you are slumbering, your throat and neck tissues might get so relaxed they narrow the air passage within your throat. At times, the opening closes so much that little to no air can pass through, which results in a lack of breathing.
2) What are some signs I may suffer from this ailment?
It can be easy for this issue to go unnoticed, because it isn’t immediately unsafe or even detectable if your breathing tapers off when you’re sleeping. Your brain will realize no oxygen is getting to it, and it will wake you up gently so you start taking in air again. However, this process is so efficient and smooth you probably won’t even realize why you’ve awakened if it happens – or you may barely wake up at all.
One thing that often occurs is a sleep partner (spouse, family member, etc.) will wake up to the sound of you choking or gasping for air. They may be able to shed some light on this for you.
Frequent snoring, a constant state of fatigue and frequently feeling depressed are also possible symptoms of OSA.
3) How do I know if I’m at risk?
Even if you don’t have any of the previously mentioned items, you may still want to be tested, especially if this disease runs in your family.
Some health conditions can point to a higher likelihood of this disease, including a range of heart problems, high blood pressure, obesity and type 2 diabetes, as well as metabolic or endocrine-related disorders.
Habits can also play a part in developing this breathing difficulty. Those who smoke or heavily consume either sedatives or alcohol can be at risk.
Search WakeUpToSleep.com and other reputable sites to learn more about how you can get sleep apnea support for yourself or a loved one.
One of Mary’s favorite things to write about is health. For more information regarding WakeUpToSleep.com, please visit https://www.wakeuptosleep.com
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/78428166@N00/8588250784/