If you constantly feel exhausted, experience headaches for no obvious reason or have high blood pressure, you could have a more serious problem.
That’s because these can all be the result of snoring—which is, in turn, the most common symptom of a potentially serious health problem—obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
While most people think of snoring as a minor annoyance, research shows it can be hazardous to your health. That’s because for over 18 million Americans it’s related to obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). People who suffer from OSA repeatedly and unknowingly stop breathing during the night due to a complete or partial obstruction of their airway. It occurs when the jaw, throat, and tongue muscles relax, blocking the airway used to breathe. The resulting lack of oxygen can last for a minute or longer, and occur hundreds of times each night.
Thankfully, most people wake when a complete or partial obstruction occurs, but it can leave you feeling completely exhausted. OSA has also been linked to a host of health problems including:
- Acid reflux
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Memory loss
- Heart attack
People over 35 are at higher risk.
OSA can be expensive to diagnosis and treat and is not always covered by insurance. A sleep clinic will require an overnight visit. Doctors then analyze the data and prescribe one of the several treatments. These may require you to wear uncomfortable CPAP devices that force air through your nose and mouth while you sleep to keep your airways open, and may even include painful surgery.