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What Is Sleep Apnea?

Dec 9, 2007
Many people are not familiar with the term "apnea". They have heard of "snoring" but never of the word "apnea". Simple snoring is often mistaken as part of a natural way of sleeping but actually this can often be a more serious sleeping disorder called "sleep apnea". It results from the snoring sound which then develops into a larger problem where the sleep becomes distracted and extremely poor in quality. This is the problem known as sleep apnea.

The Greek word "apnea" means "without breath". Sleep apnea is a very common condition characterized by a stopping of the breathing during sleep. This can happen as much as a hundred times a night and can be followed by sudden loud snoring and the consequent result of fragmented and poor quality of sleep. Though these symptoms are common, the very nature and terminology "sleep apnea" is still unknown to the majority of people. This is especially true for those who are in denial of their real health condition.

Did you ever hear someone mumble and grumble about having their sleep disturbed at night by their husband's loud snoring? If your answers is yes, well, you are not alone! In fact, thousands of families are affected with the same situation. A sleep apnea patient will never know that he actually has these symptoms until you tell him. This is because he is in an unconscious state of mind during those times of repeated snoring and interrupted breathing. Somebody needs to wake him up!

Irritability, memory problems, headaches and sleepiness during daytime are among the "not-so-good" results of poor quality of sleep. These are all caused by sleep apnea. It has been determined by experts that the sleep apnea condition does not only affect the patient himself but also takes a toll on the entire family. According to a professor from the University of Pennsylvania , parents who suffer from sleep apnea are irritable and excessively sleepy which makes their kids suffer. A spouse or other bed partner with sleep apnea could be less interested in sexual activity and more likely to face relationship failure because of this condition. Suffering from sleep apnea can cause variable changes in a person's lifestyle and in carrying out regular daily activities. All of these can become increasingly difficult if left undiagnosed and untreated.

From the records of the Natural Institutes of Health, over twelve million Americans are now affected by the sleep apnea disorder. This figure is relatively low considering the total population in the US that is affected by this condition but there are still a significant number of undiagnosed cases. Because of this, the American Sleep Apnea Association takes a step further to promote awareness among citizens about this possible life-threatening condition. They encourage sleep apnea patients and their families to write to the Members of Congress on related matters and of the importance this issue. Another objective of this resolution is to raise funds to support the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as it promotes and seeks information on sleep and sleep disorders in the US.

By this time, you may be asking if there is treatment for sleep apnea. The answer is that any form of illness may be treated. Awareness programs and surveys regarding sleep apnea help researchers determine the factors to further prevent worsening of this condition. There are certain types of people who pose a greater risk of sleep apnea. Surveys have shown that sleep apnea will most probably affect men who are over the age of forty. It may also affect young African Americans and people who are overweight or who have an abnormality in the nose or the throat. High blood pressure also seems to be associated with this problem. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea are often asked to quit smoking, lessen their alcohol intake and go on a diet as an initial treatment before going through with a more serious form of treatment such as surgery.

Did you say it's only simple snoring? Be sure it is just a "simple case" and doesn't involve the stoppage of breathing that is often associated with it. Sleep apnea can be life-threatening and a very damaging condition. It can change your lifestyle into a miserable one which you would not want. Assistance is now widely available through different health organizations so that you don't need to be afraid to get help. Stop denying yourself the proper diagnosis and start determining what treatment will work for you. Set yourself and your family free from sleep apnea!
About the Author
Over 70 Million people in the USA suffer from some kind of Sleep Disorder! There are actually hundreds of ways to improve your sleep but the first thing that is needed is to raise more awareness! If you want to sleep better tonight , you can visit this information Sleep Aid Web Site that is packed with FREE information: http://www.Sleep-Aid-Solutions.com
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