Thursday, November 20, 2008

Do You Know If You Have Sleep Apnea?

Do you know someone who snores? My ex-husband snored so loudly that I needed to fall asleep first if I ever wanted to get some sleep.

We thought he just snored and dealt with it the best we could. Later he learned that he had sleep apnea. Many people have sleep apnea and aren't even aware that they do.

Sleep apnea is a disorder that interrupts your breathing during sleep. People with apnea can have pauses in their breathing a hundred times during the night.

The symptoms of sleep apnea can include loud snoring, excessive sleepiness during the day and experience gasping during sleep.

While those symptoms can seem harmless, sleep apnea can cause serious health problems and may even be life threatening.

The effects of sleep apnea can cause:
* high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease
* memory problems
* weight gain
* impotence
* headaches

There are treatments available for people with sleep apnea. They range from lifestyle changes to surgical procedures.

If you know someone with any symptoms mentioned or if someone suggests you may have signs of sleep apnea, please speak to your physician to determine if indeed you do have sleep apnea and get treatment.

Remember, even children can have sleep apnea. This does not just affect adults.

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