Approximately 18 million Americans are diagnosed with sleep apnea. While sleep apnea is commonly associated with extreme snoring, the truth of the matter is that patients with sleep apnea are subject to frequent shallow breathing or even pauses in breathing while sleeping. Sleep apnea can be treated, but most that suffer from sleep apnea go undiagnosed. If you believe you may have sleep apnea, it is recommended that you talk to your doctor about CPAP masks or other treatment options.
Real Issues Undiagnosed
Sleep apnea is undiagnosed in one out of every 50 Americans; that accounts for 2-4% of the population. Sleep apnea is tied to several other health risks which are only increased in undiagnosed patients, sleep deprivation being one of them. The risk of stroke is four times higher in patients with an undiagnosed case of sleep apnea than when compared to the general public. Furthermore, undiagnosed patients are three times more likely to have heart disease.
The Dangers of Sleep Apnea
In addition to the increased risk of stroke and heart issues, sleep apnea carries with it its own risks. In an average night, a suffer of obstructive sleep apnea may experience 60 pauses of breath in a single hour. There are nearly 38,000 deaths annually that are caused by cardiovascular issues that are in some way linked to sleep apnea.
Who is at Risk?
Knowing who is at risk for sleep apnea may motivate some to seek medical consultation. Men, for instance, are nearly twice is likely than women to suffer from sleep apnea. Asthma patients have a nearly 40% increased risk for sleep apnea. Those with a medical history of sleep apnea may want to have themselves check out as well.
Treatment with CPAP Machine Supplies
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is a treatment that uses steady air pressure to keep airways unobstructed. CPAP machine supplies provide masks and nasal pillows that can decrease the risk of airway obstruction and apneas when properly used. Unfortunately, 80% of surveyed patients did not use their CPAP machine to keep them safe while nearly half of all patients stop using their machines after one to three weeks. For best results, it is recommended that patients use their CPAP machine supplies at least 70% of the time over a given 30 day period; that is just 4 hours per night. Older patients over 60 may require heated humidification for their CPAP machines. If there is ever medical uncertainty, the best course of action is to contact a medical professional for consultation.