The Greek word 'Apnoea' means 'Without Breath' which is where the name of the 'condition' called Sleep Apnoea (also spelt Apnea in some countries) is derived from. Therefore, Sleep Apnoea means stopping breathing whilst sleeping!
Sleep Apnoea is a medical 'condition' which is only just being widely recognized in the UK. However, it is a serious 'condition', due to the other illnesses it is linked to, such as heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, driving accidents, obesity, anxiety/depression and thyroid problems. New research is being undertaken constantly and many more links to other medical conditions are possible.
In most cases, a person with sleep apnoea will be a snorer, and mostly (unbeknown to them) will stop breathing many times a night, ranging from mild cases of around 5-14 apnoeas per hour, 15-30 apnoeas would be a moderate case and 30+ is severe. The apnoea (stop breathing episode) will happen whilst sleeping, and the brain (thankfully) sends messages to the body to start breathing again. Unfortunately this cycle will repeat itself throughout the night. The sufferer will often wake up feeling unrefreshed, but will not put this down to lack of sleep, as they are under the impression they have slept well, due to most people being unaware of what has been happening through the night. It is normally the bed partner who may notice what is going on. Many have reported of hearing their bed partner snoring, followed by a silent pause when they suspect their partner has stopped breathing (which they have!). The sufferer will then usually make a snorting, choking or gasping noise, and they will start breathing again,but the cycle will continue throughout the night.
A person with undiagnosed sleep apnoea may present some or all of the following symptoms:-
There are several different causes why a person has Obstructive Sleep Apnoea or how it can be made worse, as follows:-
There are several routes to take, but the most important one is TAKE ACTION NOW!!
According to the 'American Sleep Apnea Association,' "Sleep Apnea (Apnoea) is as common as adult diabetes, and affects more than 12 million Americans. However, because of the lack of awareness by the public and even some healthcare professionals, the vast majority remain undiagnosed and, therefore, untreated - despite the fact that this serious disorder can have significant consequences."
According to the 'British Lung Foundation,' "it is estimated that about 110,000 people in the UK suffer from Sleep Apnoea/Hypopnoea. Prevalence is higher in men than women and higher in those who are overweight. It affects an esimated 4% of males and 2% of females in the UK, although it is thought to be considerably higher in specific groups and occupations, such as long-distance lorry drivers and shift workers, where the consequences can be fatal or lead to serious injury if left undiagnosed and untreated. It is also esimated that only 1 in 10 patients with the syndrome have so far been diagnosed and treated. The rate of treatment in the UK is lower than most other developed countries."
Sleep Apnoea (Apnea) is a serious condition, due to its links with other life threatening illnesses. Not only will you lower your risks of these other illnesses, but you will start to feel so much better in yourself when you are on successful treatment.
PLEASE, FOR YOUR SAKE AND YOUR FAMILIES, DO NOT IGNORE YOUR SYMPTOMS, AND SEEK MEDICAL HELP NOW!!