Sleep is arguably one of the most important parts of daily life. Without sleep, it’s safe to say the human race wouldn’t be doing so well. But even with the necessity of sleep on the table, there are still numerous disorders that cause a lack of sleep. The most common among these are insomnia and sleep apnea. Not all cases of these disorders are severe, but opting out of testing and proper diagnosis could lead to a larger issue than you may be dealing with right now.
Sleep apnea is present in nearly 18 million people in the United States alone, and affects nearly twice as many men as it does women. Although it’s a common disorder, many people brush un-diagnosed sleep apnea off as a snoring problem. But when a lack of sleep starts to affect your health, measures need to be taken to solve the problem. Sleep apnea is most often caused when the muscles of the throat relax, restricting air flow to the lungs. The lack of oxygen results in waking briefly so your body can reopen the airway. This results in a snorting or choking sound (often mistaken for snoring), and can occur up to 30 times or more each hour.
If you think you, or someone you know, may be suffering from sleep apnea, don’t hesitate to call your doctor, because the treatment options are designed to keep you safe and breathing at night! The most common forms of treatment for this disorder are breathing machines, of which there are different varieties. A sleep apnea machine can have one of two titles: Continuous Positive Airway Pressure machine (CPAP machine) or Bilevel Positive Airway Pressure machine(BiPAP machine) work in much the same way, and they are designed to keep a continuous flow of air into your body.
The CPAP and BiPAP machines make a small amount of noise when they’re working, and for some, this discourages regular use. In fact, as many as 80% of sleep apnea patients do not use their BiPAP and CPAP supplies often enough to ensure their safety. The only thing more important than diagnosis is using the prescribed equipment regularly. If you have sleep apnea, or you think you might, don’t hesitate to call your doctor to look into the best apparatus and treatment for you!