Can Sleep Apnea Kill Me?
Sleep Is Important
Many people struggle with getting a good night’s sleep. Whether its due to snoring, frequently waking up, sleep apnea, or another sleep disorder. If you find yourself not getting quality sleep, it is essential to talk to your doctor. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to many diseases that will kill you.
Many people think of sleep apnea as a mild nuisance; they don’t see it as a problem that threatens to end your life early. Sadly, 80% of patients who have sleep apnea are undiagnosed and therefore untreated.
If sleep apnea is left untreated it can cause:
- Cancer (increased risk of more than four times)
- Higher risk of stroke
- High blood pressure
- Heart attack
- Diabetes (due to insulin resistance and impaired glucose tolerance)
- Higher risk of death from heart disease
- Problems concentrating
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Mood problems
Sleep apnea is a lot more severe than people understand. While your body is trying to sleep, something blocks your airway. Sleep apnea causes a complete blockage of airflow despite your body’s effort to breath. Snoring alone is a sign of partial obstruction of your airway. Excess weight, a buildup of fatty tissue, or other problems are the cause of the blockage. Despite the reason, a patient with sleep apnea stops breathing for up to 10 -30 seconds at a time throughout the night.
How To Get Treated for Sleep Apnea
The first step towards seeking help for a sleep disorder is to talk to your doctor. You should take any problems sleeping seriously. Your doctor will most likely order an overnight sleep study; you may even be approved for an at home sleep study. These studies are an evaluation that involves overnight monitoring while you sleep to determine if you have sleep apnea and its severity.
Treatment for Sleep Apnea
If your sleep apnea is mild, your doctor will likely start with recommended lifestyle changes. These changes include quitting smoking, losing weight, and treating allergies. If these changes do not improve your apnea, you may need a CPAP machine.
CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) is beneficial for moderate to severe cases of sleep apnea. The machine delivers air pressure to your airway to keep the airway passages open, preventing apneic episodes and snoring. CPAP is highly effective in treating sleep apnea; however, some people have a hard time adapting to wearing the device. Sadly many patients give up on treatment instead of talking to their doctor to find a solution. There are many different types of masks available now, and you should be able to find one that is comfortable. Humidifiers are also available to make using your CPAP machine more comfortable. Never stop using your CPAP machine if you experience problems. Talk to your doctor.
There are other treatments options available as well. Another airway pressure device automatically adjusts the pressure setting while you sleep called Auto-CPAP, and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP) is also available. These devices provide less pressure when you exhale, and more when you inhale.
Keeping Your Sleep Apnea Machine Clean
No matter what type of sleep apnea machine your doctor prescribes, a CPAP cleaner will make your life easier. The traditional method of cleaning sleep apnea equipment is using soap and water. This is a time-consuming task and is not the most effective cleaning method. A CPAP cleaner such as VirtuCLEAN uses activated oxygen called ozone to clean your sleep apnea equipment. Ozone effectively reaches every nook and cranny of your sleep apnea device and equipment. VirtuCLEAN also does not use any liquid, so you don’t have to worry about letting your sleep apnea equipment dry before using it. Visit our website to learn more about the CPAP cleaner VirtuCLEAN.
Don’t Ignore Signs of Sleep Apnea
The bottom line with sleep apnea is that it is highly dangerous but also treatable. If you have any of the following signs of sleep apnea talk to your doctor right away:
- Your partner complaining of pauses in your breathing
- Daytime sleepiness
- You wake up with a headache
- High blood pressure
- Overweight or obese
- Irritable, depressed, or having mood swings
There is no reason not to get tested for sleep apnea because if you have it and leave it untreated, it can ultimately kill you.