Sleep apnea may go undiagnosed in people for a long time, and they may not know that it’s the underlying cause of various other medical problems they’re experiencing. Not being aware of the cause of an illness or medical issue such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, heart arrhythmia or even depression can be very scary. Knowing the cause could help get someone on their road to recovery.
Sleep apnea going undiagnosed in someone is a very common issue. Well over 20 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea and it’s estimated that around 80 percent of moderate to severe cases are undiagnosed. Those are staggering numbers. Only 20 percent of Americans with sleep apnea are getting the support and treatment that they desperately need.
The problem lies in the fact that many people don’t understand what sleep apnea is, or they feel that the symptoms they’re experiencing are simply normal. For example, someone who snores, gasps for breath and/or wakes up several times in a night may think that’s typical.
It’s not, and there is relief out there. Here are five signs you may be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea:
Sure, some snoring is normal. However, if you snore every night, very loudly, then it may be a telltale sign of sleep apnea.
Gasping for Air
As mentioned earlier, frequently trying to catch your breath while you’re sleeping isn’t normal. Sleep apnea causes someone to stop breathing upwards of 100 times an hour in severe cases! Oxygen is carried in your bloodstream to all your different organs, and it’s essential for those organs to function properly. Not getting enough oxygen can have serious repercussions.
People who suffer from sleep apnea almost always suffer from frequent headaches. Not getting enough oxygen to the brain can cause you to wake up with a headache, and it can continue throughout your whole day.
High Blood Pressure
Not receiving enough oxygen is a scary phenomenon to your body. In fact, once it realizes it doesn’t have enough, it kicks into overdrive and restricts blood vessels, working to preserve the oxygen it does have.
If you’re tired all the time, chances are you’re not getting adequate or high-quality sleep. It’s suggested by the CDC that average adults strive to get at least seven hours of sleep per night. They mean good, uninterrupted sleep. Consistently getting less than seven hours per night can cause a plethora of issues, including: decreased work performance, stroke, diabetes or depression. Being sleep deprived is comparable to being drunk, so not getting enough sleep and then getting behind the wheel of a car can even mean severe injuries or death for some. If you do have sleep apnea, then you’re waking up several times a night and likely getting a low quality of sleep.
Do these symptoms sound familiar to you? Maybe you didn’t know they were “symptoms” of anything, but your body could possibly be telling you that you have sleep apnea. If you are experiencing issues with sleep, please contact us today – better quality sleep and a better quality of life are available for you, and we’re here to help you find it.