Do you ever wake up in the night feeling as if there’s a huge weight on your chest? Or for that matter, do you ever wake up feeling as if you aren’t able to breathe? We all should be able to expect a good night’s sleep, but many don’t get it due to the fact that they aren’t breathing correctly as they sleep. This obviously isn’t anything conscious, and for most people, it’s something that they dismiss until it becomes a real problem. Of course, by the time it becomes a real problem, you could be dealing with a number of different issues that have arisen due to your breathing issues. These breathing issues could very well be symptoms of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, or sleep-disordered breathing, is a condition that causes a person to literally stop breathing during sleep. While few people die due to an apnea attack, it is of course a possibility. The bigger problem is that many people develop other conditions due to sleep apnea, like heart and lung problems. Luckily, there are certain types of medical equipment that can help people get through the night without sleep apnea attacks. That way, you’ll not only avoid serious health complications — you’ll actually be able to rest and get a good night’s sleep. Let’s look into what sleep apnea is, what the risks are associated with it, and the home medical equipment that can help sufferers sleep better and be healthier.
How Much Of A Problem Is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is estimated to affect about 42 million Americans on some level — but of course, the severity to which it may affect people ranges. Some people who have mild sleep-disordered breathing may not even need medical intervention, but for many it’s a huge problem. Research indicates that about one in five adults has mild sleep apnea, while one in 15 adults has moderate to obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep apnea, of course, can progress from mild to moderate to obstructive if the causes of a person’s sleep apnea are exacerbated. Sleep apnea is more likely to affect men than women; about 25% of middle-aged men have obstructive sleep apnea, while only 9% of middle-aged women can say the same. Unfortunately, many of these sufferers don’t even know that they have a problem, with 75% of sleep-disordered breathing cases going undiagnosed. This means that people waking up, still tired after what they thought was a full night’s sleep, and not knowing why. Of course, that’s the least of the problem associated with sleep apnea.
What Are The Side Effects Of Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is in itself often a side effect or symptom of a greater issue — but when it goes untreated, it can make the original problem much worse. Many of the people suffering from sleep apnea are obese, with their weight being linked to apnea episodes. Hypertension is also associated with sleep apnea, with 30% to 83% of hypertension patients experiencing at least some level of sleep apnea. Of course, sleep apnea itself can put a lot of pressure on the body. If the body goes without oxygen for a certain amount of time, this can cause serious damage to the brain, and in some cases even stroke. Heart disease can also be worsened by sleep apnea. On a practical level, the lack of sleep associated with sleep apnea can cause a person to get into car accidents or engage in a number of risky behaviors throughout the day. This is why it’s important that people use medical equipment to help combat sleep apnea.
What Types Of Medical Equipment Help Treat Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea episodes often require, at the very least, CPAP supplies. CPAP supplies help apnea patients get through the night, preventing episodes. In more serious scenarios, doctors may recommend home oxygen systems to help patients breathe after an episode. Of course, medical equipment is often advised in conjunction with lifestyle changes to help prevent episodes entirely.