By: Dr. Robert Rawdin
Whether you are the one snoring or the bed partner of someone who snores, you are affected.When snoring is loud and happens very often there is a high likelihood that there is associated Sleep Apnea.
Untreated Sleep Apnea Can Be Life Threatening
Sleep Apnea is a serious health condition and will cause some potentially life-threatening events if it is left untreated. Sleep Apnea is actually a cessation of breathing and this can happen many times during the night. If you stop breathing during sleep, your oxygen levels will go down. If your vital organs are not getting adequate oxygen there is a strain on your heart and your brain. Your brain will arouse you after you stop breathing for a while. This in turn affects your sleep cycle so you really don’t get good restful sleep. If you are tired and cranky upon waking, Sleep Apnea may be causing this.
Sleep Apnea’s Toll On The Body
The medical consequences of untreated Sleep Apnea include high blood pressure, diabetes, arrythmias, increased risk of heart attack and stroke, erectile dysfunction and weight gain – just to name a few.
There have been some prominent people in the news whose death was associated with Sleep Apnea; Carrie Fisher and Judge Anton Scalia are two people that died from Sleep Apnea related conditions. So treatment for Sleep Apnea is vitally important.
If someone has Sleep Apnea, it will not just go away. It will get worse over time, so treatment is a must! The treatment options are usually a breathing machine (CPAP), or surgery or a dental device to hold the bottom jaw in a forward position while you sleep. This dental option is non-invasive and patients get used to these very easily.
Impact on Spouse Or Bed Partner
Obviously, the health issues for the patient with sleep apnea are something one must be concerned with. But often, the bed partner of a loud snorer will not get adequate rest because they are constantly getting woken up from the loud snoring.
The first step in getting treated is to have a sleep test done. This can usually be done at home. Once the diagnosis is made the patient should get a clear explanation of the treatment options and decide what is best for their situation.
The bottom line is get treatment to improve your health – and your relationship!!