If you are reading this blog and asking yourself, “Why make such a song and dance about snoring in sleep?” you need to wake up to the realities of obstructive sleep apnea. Snoring is not the real problem. It is only one of several symptoms, albeit the primary one, of sleep apnea. And, yes, sleep apnea is a big deal. In most cases, it is not curable. However, it is treatable. If you feel you don’t know enough about the condition called OSA, it is time to read up.
The word ‘apnea’ means cessation of breathing. People with obstructive sleep apnea have difficulty breathing through their nose while asleep. The muscles around the airway collapse and block the passage of air to the lungs. This causes the cessation in breathing. This typically happens multiple times during sleep. It is a potentially fatal condition. If people stop breathing for a considerable period of time, it could cause a cardiac arrest.
Secondly, OSA disrupts the sleep cycle. There is no conclusive evidence about the function of sleep yet. However, after we sleep and wake up, we usually feel rested and refreshed. People, who suffer from OSA, do not get the required amount of sleep at night. They wake up tired and still sleepy. They go through the day only half awake. This is why people who are diagnosed with OSA are not allowed to operate heavy machinery or drive. There could be accidents owing to falling asleep at the wheel. This changes their lifestyle and restricts their movement.
Thirdly, it s a misconception that women do not suffer from OSA. It occurs predominantly in middle aged and overweight women. Women who suffer from OSA are at a higher risk of developing depression than others. Sleep deprivation is directly linked to mood swings and the depressive state. Women with OSA are more likely depression, insomnia and hypothyroidism. Pregnant women are also at risk of developing OSA.
Finally, irrespective of gender, OSA affects the quality of life of anyone with this sleep disorder. Lack of sleep leads to mood swings which in turn can affect personal relationships. Disturbed sleep at night leads to daytime sleepiness that affects work performance. Overall health suffers and other physical complications develop due to OSA. An alarming statistic suggests that among the elderly who experience cognitive impairment, those with untreated OSA suffer from loss of mental faculty at the age of 77 at an average as opposed to those without OSA who experience the same condition at the ripe old age of 90.
While someone snoring loudly while asleep may be funny to most of us, it is a dangerous disorder for the person suffering from it. Dr. Sudipta Chandra talks about sleep related health risks. Sleep disorders can give rise to many complications other than snoring such as cardiological & neurological complications, diabetes and other chronic diseases If you think you have OSA or someone you know does, take a free & simple test that will tell you whether or not you need to get an HST or a home sleep study done. Sleep apnea can be treated with CPAP therapy. We at TriBeCa Care will take you through the HST. Call us at (033) 40277777 or 8017770323 to book an appointment.
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