Does Snoring Keep You or Your Partner Awake? You May Have Sleep Apnea
Do you or someone you know snore loudly? Are you excessively tired during the day? Has your partner told you that you stop breathing, gasp or snort when you sleep? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, you may have untreated sleep apnea—a sleep disorder that can greatly impact your overall health and quality of life.
The most common type of apnea is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and usually happens when excess tissue in the throat creates an obstruction of the airway. When this happens, your brain alerts you to continue breathing, which in turn disrupts your sleep cycle. Obstructive sleep apnea can disrupt your sleep hundreds of times a night.
People with untreated sleep apnea and snoring are generally unaware of these awakenings. Because the snoring often drives partners into separate bedrooms, people often seek treatment only to find out their snoring is a symptom of the larger problem of sleep apnea. Observant partners are often helpful in diagnosing obstructive sleep apnea which must be confirmed by specialized testing.
Untreated sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder that occurs in as many as 24 percent of men and approximately 9 percent of women1. It is more common among people over the age of 40 and people who are overweight or have large necks.
Living with untreated sleep apnea can take a heavy toll. Consult a sleep health specialist to help get your life back.
1Young T, Palta M, Dempsey J, et al. The occurrence of sleep-disordered breathing among middle-aged adults. N Engl J Med. 1993;328(17):1230–1235