Statistically, sleep apnea affects one in 25 middle aged men.
If you find yourself in this age and gender category, it does not mean that you are doomed to get sleep apnea. It just means that you need to be more aware of your health.
It is also estimated that about 82% of men with moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea are not diagnosed, simply because they do not know the signs and symptoms. There are many ways to be more aware of the symptoms of sleep apnea and also how to make you less of a risk for it.
You are at greater risk for obstructive sleep apnea…
- If you are a smoker
- If you consistently have high blood pressure
- If you have other risk factors for heart failure or stroke
- If you are overweight
- If you snore at night
- If the size of your neck is large
- If you have a family history of obstructive sleep apnea
Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know that they have it. It is usually a family member or partner who realises that their loved one is at risk for sleep apnea. This is why so many people with this condition go undiagnosed.
In order to lessen the risk of sleep apnea, some lifestyle changes you may want to think about making include:
- Staying active and attempting to lose weight through a healthy diet and exercise program
- Cutting back on alcohol, smoking and other medicines that make you sleepy
- Sleeping on your side, instead of your back, in order to keep your airway open
Most importantly, be vigilant. If you experience excessive drowsiness during the day or if you exhibit any other symptoms of sleep apnea, consult with your doctor. If you receive a sleep apnea diagnosis, don’t wait to take action. Find a CPAP and mask that fits well and work to integrate it into your daily life.
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