Are You Always Tired? Millions of Americans Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease

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What you don’t know about sleep apnea could be affecting your health: recent health care studies indicate that more than 15 million American adults could have sleep apnea. Many people do not even realize that they have the condition, or they may be so used to being sleepy during the day that they do not recognize their drowsiness as a symptom. Sleep apnea is described in health journals as a sleep disorder that involves gaps, or pauses, between breaths.

During these pauses, carbon dioxide levels in the blood increase; the brain then takes notice and reacts, causing the sleeper to wake up and start breathing at a normal rate again. The body and brain receive enough oxygen at this point, and sleep resumes. Then the sleeper pauses between breaths again and the cycle resumes as many as 30 times per hour. Sleep apnea causes may range from genetic predisposition to obesity, heart disease, large neck size, or even smoking.

The health risks associated with sleep apnea can be considerable: studies show that people whose sleep apnea is not treated have higher rates of strokes and heart disease. There are treatments for sleep apnea: diet, exercise, smoking cessation programs, and even a sleep apnea machine called a CPAP machine, or a continuous positive air pressure machine.

Sleep apnea occurs in men at double the rate that it occurs in women, and some sufferers may wish to take a home sleep test as an important diagnostic tool. There are other sleep tests available, and people who use a CPAP machine, Resmed CPAP supplies and other brands, must understand that the machine produces a steady flow of air to help keep sleep apnea sufferers breathing regularly throughout the night. Resmed CPAP supplies can include a nasal CPAP mask, nasal pillows, a sleep apnea mask, and travel CPAP machines.

Overall, effective treatment for sleep apnea depends upon patients’ willingness to adhere to the terms of their doctors’ advice. Surprisingly, about half of sleep apnea sufferers stopped using their CPAP machines in less than one month, and more than three-quarters of all sleep apnea patients use their machines on an irregular basis. Part of the treatment for any condition involves the regular use of prescribed medication, and doctors who prescribe the use of a CPAP machine to their patients are looking for positive results based on regular use.

Experts recommend that patients use their CPAP machines in conjunction with Resmed CPAP supplies such as full face CPAP mask components regularly: they recommend that the machines be used at least four hours per day, at least 20 days per month. Patients who disregard their recommended courses of treatment may not achieve the progress they desire. Sleep apnea can be fatal, and failure to follow up with outpatient treatment may put millions of Americans through an endless series of sleepless nights.

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May 2024
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