So you’ve just been diagnosed with sleep apnea ? a condition that affects as many as 18 million Americans’ nightly sleep patterns. Now what?
It’s likely that your doctor has informed you of the basics of living with sleep apnea; how the frequent pauses in your breathing while you sleep can last up to several minutes at a time, which can lead to negative health effects at best and can be life-threatening at worst. The condition occurs almost twice as frequently in men than it does in women, and between two and four percent of Americans have an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea.
But do you know everything you should about your sleep apnea diagnosis? Here are three of the most overlooked sleep apnea causes, treatments like CPAP mask pillows and health effects that every patient should know:
CPAP machines are an effective treatment ? when used correctly
To treat this condition, a growing number of patients use CPAP machines to help regulate their nighttime breathing, yet a shocking 80% of patients surveyed aren’t using their CPAP mask pillows and machines enough to keep them safe from the negative effects of sleep apnea. With that statistic in mind, it’s imperative to make sure you’re using the right CPAP products ? and using them correctly. Make sure you purchase your CPAP mask from an authorized, licensed dealer that your doctor recommends. If you purchase from an unauthorized source, the chances of buying an improperly fitted mask are higher ? and CPAP masks that don’t fit you properly can ruin your teeth and jaw’s natural positioning or even increase your chances of an apneic episode.
Sleep apnea sufferers don’t just have trouble sleeping
Did you know that the body’s production of human growth hormone is disrupted when one has sleep apnea? As a result, people with apneic episodes are often more likely to be overweight due to insufficient growth hormone. This is because lower human growth hormone production in turn leads to reduced levels of testosterone and a decrease in lean muscle mass, which both contribute to weight gain.
Letting your sleep apnea go untreated can be deadly
As stated before, sleep apnea’s effects range from harmful health conditions like heart disease and stroke to death. In fact, approximately 38,000 deaths happen each year as a result of cardiovascular problems that could have been prevented with proper sleep apnea treatment. Additionally, sleep apnea patients who let their condition go untreated are four times more likely to suffer a stroke than those who properly use their CPAP mask pillows. Because of this, ensuring you’re correctly treating your condition can truly be life-saving.