Not everyone is created equal. We may have the same needs and interests but there are many things that differentiate us from one another. It’s what made life on this planet so much brighter and exciting. Yet despite our diversity, some things just do not change. Sleep, for instance, is a universal need that nobody can resist or avoid just as much as eating and breathing. It’s something we all need, whether we have to use a snoring mouthpiece like the ZQuiet or not. Imagine yourself without sleep for days at a time. You feel like a human zombie, right? Sleep deprivation not only makes you dizzy and cranky but it is likewise detrimental to your health. Sleep restores our body and enables us to face a new day with enough energy and mental focus we all need to survive the day and finish all our tasks.
However, getting a good night’s sleep is easier said than done if you are someone suffering from a sleep disorder known as sleep apnea. Those with sleep apnea often snore but not all snorers have sleep apnea. What’s scary about this situation is the breathing pauses that characterizes sleep apnea. You stop breathing because your brain is in a dilemma of whether to breathe or sleep, which is why you drift on and off in sleep. The sleeper is rarely conscious of this, but it does happen. It is even a major discomfort to the person sleeping beside them as the snoring is so loud they lose just as much sleep as the one with sleep apnea. It’s kind of a no win situation, no matter how you look at it.
Diseases often present themselves differently in men and women. Not separating the results means that the symptoms most common in men during clinical trials are the ones that get more attention in popular medical studies. As such, doctors misdiagnose women because our symptoms for certain ailments don’t match the symptoms doctors are taught to look for. This frustrating fact holds true for sleep apnea, a common sleep disorder in which people experience one or more pauses in breathing and shallow breathing while sleeping. One in five Americans have mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Folks with sleep apnea stop breathing in their sleep, and, spoiler alert, we need to breathe to live. But women with sleep apnea are misdiagnosed with depression, hypertension, and hypochondria, among other things, and it’s a huge issue. Being misdiagnosed can cause women to not get the treatment they need.
People tend to ignore sleep apnea because many have been known to snore for ages and it’s become that annoying some people just have. Some possibly even die from it without knowing it was their sleep apnea that caused their death since they likely haven’t consulted a doctor regarding this condition. The symptoms are really quite bothersome, though, and waking up gasping for air is not new to these people. Imagine living in a constant 50/50 situation each night because of sleep apnea.
These are some of the most common and most noticeable symptoms associated with it:
Noticeable interruptions in breathing: The most noticeable sign of sleep apnea is the hallmark of the condition: a noticeable interruption in breathing. You won’t be awake to notice this for yourself, but if you record yourself or have someone watch you, there may be significant pauses in your breathing pattern. If this happens intermittently, you almost certainly have sleep apnea.
Snoring: Snoring by itself is not another indication, but the symptoms of both sleep apnea and snoring are caused by similar underlying root causes. If you know you snore frequently, you could be at higher risk.
Fatigue: Sleep apnea interferes with your ability to sleep ordinarily. If you wake up feeling fatigued or have less energy than usual, it could be a sign that your sleep has been interrupted throughout the night.
These are just some of the symptoms of sleep apnea and these alone can make you lose more sleep and predispose you to more health problems when not addressed right away. The usual treatment is CPAP but compliance is low since it is very inconvenient to use than those prescribed with it stop using the machine after a few days or weeks of use.
The inconvenience in the use of CPAP is no excuse, though, to skip treatment if you still want to live long.