Some people develop sleep apnea during childhood, but many people only begin to experience this sleeping disorder later in life.
For those who develop sleep apnea as they age, it can be extremely difficult to cope with the reduced amount of restful sleep and the side effects that come with it.
This article will inform you of what sleep apnea is, list some of the dangers untreated sleep apnea present in older people and discuss some easy treatment options.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Simply put, sleep apnea is a disorder that causes problems in breathing during sleep. Those who suffer from it often wake up several times during the night due to shortness of breath without even realizing it. Generally, people who have sleep apnea tend to snore. While sleep apnea is more common in men, especially those who are overweight, women and children can also suffer from sleep apnea.
Why is Sleep Apnea Dangerous for Older People?
First and foremost, suffering from a continuing sleep disorder can have a drastic effect on your day to day life. Always feeling tired means never giving work, family or friends 100% or your best effort and always feeling unsatisfied. In addition to general fatigue there are two other major concerns.
In August of 2011, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study revealing that sleep apnea, if untreated, might contribute to dementia in older women. Both men and women suffering from sleep apnea are more prone to depression as well, according to a March 2012 report from MedPageToday. Depression and dementia both have serious consequences and affect quality of life in a major way.
How can I Treat My Sleep Apnea?
The good news is that there are some pretty simple treatment options for sleep apnea.
• Exercise regularly
• Eat healthy
• Engage in social activities
• Limit naps during the day
• Stick to a regular sleep schedule
• Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed time and avoid sleeping pills in general
• Sleep on your side
• Look into different methods for keeping your nasal passage open (neti pots, breathing strips, nasal dilators, etc.)
If these treatments are not working for you, consult your physician. In most cases, the suggestion of surgery is not an act of venality—if the above options aren’t working for you it might be your best bet. If that’s the case, you should always seek a second opinion on the matter. In the mean time, you can try alternative product such as Anti-Snore Pillow to treat your problems of snoring.
Though many people do experience sleep apnea as they get older, there is no need to be overwhelmed by it. Sleeping disorders can be both inconvenient and dangerous, but with proper treatment you should be able to maintain your lifestyle and independence for a long time. To find much more information about Sleep Apnea, the signs of risk and how to take action visit the Mayo Clinic.
Ken Stanfield is a writer, blogger and health enthusiast who specializes in respiratory health and geriatric healthcare needs. He currently writes for the nebulizer systems supplier justnebulizers.com.