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There are more than eighteen million people in the United States alone who suffer from sleep apnea. This number increases when factoring in people with mild-to-moderate sleep apnea affects around 60% of the population. 

The dangers of not treating this disorder can be dangerous, leading to health problems like hypertension and heart disease. At the same time, the consequences for sufferers who ignore their condition are even more severe. Dr. Chad Carlton can help you treat sleep apnea at the earliest with their years of experience and practice. 

Here’s everything you should know about sleep apnea, including signs and symptoms, causes, diagnosis & treatment options.

What Is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a sleep-related disorder that prevents one from closing their airway during sleep, causing them to stop repeatedly breathing throughout the night. This can lead to different types of health issues. The most common health issue that people suffer from is cardiovascular disease due to the level of blood in the body when one isn’t getting enough oxygen. Other problems caused by sleep apnea include high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and heart failure. In severe cases, sufferers find themselves passing out or even blacking out while sleeping, which is why many call it a “killer disease.”

How to Treat Sleep Apnea?

Although there isn’t a cure for sleep apnea, there are effective methods to treat it. Most people discover that the treatment they need for sleep apnea is a specially designed oral device called a CPAP machine. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines blow pressurized air into the throat and the airways to keep them open while one sleeps. 

What Causes Sleep Apnea?

Some causes of sleep apnea are:

  1. Obesity. 
  2. Smoking. 
  3. Age (most common in men in their fifties and sixties).
  4. Genetics (it runs in families). 
  5. Flat or weak tongue (which causes muscles in the tongue and lips to relax).

Can You Die From Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea can lead to many severe health conditions that put one’s life at risk, including high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, heart disease, stroke, and even death. Sleep apnea can kill people in several ways. It can increase the chances of heart attack and heart failure due to the amount of time someone is without oxygen when they stop breathing, typically 30 seconds or longer. Another way sleep apnea can lead to death is through an interruption in breathing during sleep called central sleep apnea, which causes the body to think it’s suffocating.

If you notice little snoring sounds or the feeling that your chest is tight during sleep, speak to your doctor right away.

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