Posted on Wednesday, November 1st, 2023 at 9:00 am    

Sleep Apnea Is A Common Disorder

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that affects millions of people. Sleep apnea happens when your breathing is interrupted during sleep, often causing other issues such as loud snoring, poor sleep quality, and exhaustion during the day.

Most people who have sleep apnea don’t know they have it. If you’ve been snoring loudly or waking up repeatedly at night, you may have sleep apnea issues. In fact, it may be the real reason you’ve been feeling sleepy, irritable, or moody so often.

To find out whether you are experiencing sleep apnea and get the help you need, contact Silent Night Therapy or call 631-983-2463 today. We can help you get back to deep, uninterrupted sleep. 

Sleep Apnea

There are two main types of sleep apnea. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA, in which the airway becomes constricted or obstructed during sleep. OSA happens when the muscles in your airway relax too much while you are sleeping, becoming too narrow for the breath to get through.

This can cause you to partially wake up, gasp loudly, snore, or make choking sounds several times to restore normal breathing. That wouldn’t be such a problem if it only happened occasionally, but in fact it, can happen many times throughout the night. You may not remember waking up at all because you only need to wake up a little to get your breathing going properly. That’s one reason so many people don’t realize they have sleep apnea.

How common is sleep apnea? According to the National Sleep Foundation, obstructive sleep apnea affects about 10 percent of women and about 25 percent of men.

Central sleep apnea is much less common according to a study by Medscape, affecting less than one percent of the population. With central sleep apnea, there’s a problem in the communication between the brain and the breathing muscles. This causes shallow breathing with interruptions. 

Prevalence of Sleep Apnea: Statistical Overview

According to a recent article by the National Council on Aging, the prevalence of sleep apnea is much higher than most people realize. Nine hundred sixty-three million adults all over the world suffer from obstructive sleep apnea, and 39 million of them are in the United States. Eighty percent of sleep apnea sufferers are undiagnosed.

Although central sleep apnea is much less common, it is more common among certain population groups. According to Medscape, central sleep apnea affects 25 to 40 percent of heart failure patients and 10 percent of stroke patients. It affects men more often than women and is most common after age 60.  

Factors Influencing Sleep Apnea Occurrence

There are several factors influencing sleep apnea occurrence. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, you are more likely to experience sleep apnea:

  • As you get older
  • If you are male
  • If you are overweight or obese
  • If you drink alcohol or smoke
  • If you have a family history of sleep apnea
  • If you have heart failure, kidney failure, or an endocrine disorder

According to MedlinePlus, the size of your tonsils, adenoids, tongue, and neck can all affect your chances of experiencing sleep apnea, as can having a relatively short lower jaw. 

Regional Variances in Sleep Apnea Incidence

Sleep Apnea Is A Common DisorderRegional variances in sleep apnea are relatively minor according to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, which found similar incidences of sleep apnea in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Spain. For instance, the incidence of sleep apnea in men was at 24 percent in Wisconsin, 17 percent in Pennsylvania, and 26 percent in Spain. The incidence for women showed greater variance, with 9 percent in Wisconsin, 5 percent in Pennsylvania, and 28 percent in Spain.

There are also regional variances in treatment for OSA. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that more than 80 percent of patients in the Midwest had received positive airway pressure or PAP treatment, while less than 73 percent of patients in the Northeast and Northwest had received the same treatment. Less than 70 percent of patients in California and the South adhered to PAP treatment. 

Contact a Sleep Specialist Today

Sleep apnea is a problem you can have without even knowing it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t harm you. If your partner has been complaining that you snore all the time, or if you always feel sleepy and irritable without knowing why, you should get yourself checked for sleep apnea as soon as possible.

If you have sleep apnea, getting treated can greatly improve your quality of life. Contact Silent Night Therapy online or call 631-983-2463 today to schedule your consultation.