For many years now you have been visiting your physician for a regular health screening. Your physician has been checking you over for symptoms of the most common diseases such as:
- Overweight and obesity
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Colon conditions
- Prostate cancer in men
- Breast cancer and cervical cancer in women
Now he has added sleep apnea to the list of things he is checking for, your physician is testing for sleep apnea because it is becoming one of the most common medical conditions Americans have. It is estimated that over 70 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. What is even scarier is that 80 percent of those people are undiagnosed.
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder defined as the unconscious stoppage of breathing for short periods of time throughout a night’s sleep. With OSA, there is a soft tissue obstruction of the upper airway, which negatively impacts the flow of air. Pauses in breathing can be just a few seconds to minutes, and occur as little as five to as many as 30 times per hour. OSA is further characterized as a partial reduction (hypopnea) to complete pauses (apnea) in breathing that can last longer than 10 seconds.
With no or little air freely flowing to the lungs, there is a decrease in oxygen levels in the blood. Therefore, if not diagnosed or treated, it comes as no surprise that OSA is a debilitating and life-shortening condition that can impact a person’s life. Sleep apnea can lead to many of serious medical conditions such as:
- High blood pressure, stroke and heart attack
- Obesity and diabetes.
- Coronary artery disease, heart rhythm issues and even heart failure.
Currently 8 out of every 10 people with sleep apnea are undiagnosed. You can understand why your physician is interested in find out if you have sleep apnea. Early diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea will reduce your risk for more fatal conditions listed above.
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, been diagnosed or would like to find out how you can avoid the high risk of developing other conditions, contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a consultation.