Did you know that a whopping 22 million Americans currently suffer from sleep apnea? That’s just the number of diagnosed cases. Research shows that an estimated 80% of moderate to severe cases aren’t even diagnosed–that means, those individuals aren’t receiving any kind of treatment or help in preventing sleep apnea.
Fortunately, whether you’ve been diagnosed or not, preventing sleep apnea doesn’t have to be as complex as you may think.
Here are five important things to know about preventing sleep apnea.
1. It May Require a Lifestyle Adjustment
Many doctors will recommend that patients with sleep apnea make adjustments for a healthier lifestyle. Weight loss is often one of these recommendations as obesity usually goes hand-in-hand with sleep apnea.
Interestingly, sleep apnea may also worsen with age and, despite stereotypes, it is not strictly seen in older men. Women who struggle with obesity, especially post-menopause, may need to make lifestyle adjustments to prevent sleep apnea.
Regular exercise, especially flexibility and lung-strengthening exercises, are great ways to improve your sleep. Consider picking up yoga or cycling.
2. It May Be Hard to Recognise
Many people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t know it. Often, side-effects of sleep apnea align with symptoms also seen in clinical depression.
If you’re currently receiving treatment for depression but not seeing results, you may want to take a look at symptoms of sleep apnea. They include fatigue, gloominess, irritability, a dry/sore throat, snoring, and more.
For those with sleep apnea, depressive symptoms will often lessen with treatment more than with treatment for clinical depression.
3. It Can Lead to More Serious Problems
Left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to more dangerous health problems. Heart-disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, depression, and high blood pressure are all serious concerns for those suffering from sleep apnea.
Talk with your doctor about seeking treatment for sleep apnea and creating a healthy lifestyle plan to help you prevent further medical problems in the future.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
You’ve heard the advice from just about every source possible — cut back on drinking and don’t smoke. Alcohol consumption, excessive drinking, and smoking are major contributors to sleep apnea and other resulting health problems.
Increasing your liposomal glutathione, cutting back on your alcohol intake, and abstaining from vaping or smoking are essential ways to prevent sleep problems.
5. Sleep Apnea Can Happen at Any Age
Sometimes children and even infants can suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. This is the most common form of sleep apnea in non-adults. Typically, it occurs when children or babies have enlarged tonsils that block airways.
Sometimes developmental problems or other medical issues can cause pediatric sleep apnea in small children.
More Ways of Preventing Sleep Apnea
Preventing sleep apnea starts by getting properly diagnosed. If you or a loved one struggle with one or more of the common symptoms of sleep apnea, reach out to your doctor today to get tested.
For more interesting reads on health and wellness, browse the Science portion of our blog. Happy sleeping!