Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can affect anyone. While some people are more at risk for developing the condition, like those who have a family history of OSA or are overweight, anyone from any walk of life can be affected by sleep apnea. Many people do not know just how common sleep apnea is, and therefore are unaware of the risks that come along with the condition. Men are more frequently affected by OSA, with 25% of middle-aged men suffering from the disorder. On the other hand, 9% of middle-aged women have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. Because OSA affects us while we sleep, it is common for the disorder to go untreated. When sleep apnea is not properly addressed by a medical professional, the effects can be incredibly harmful. Many celebrities who suffer with obstructive sleep apnea have spoken out about their struggles with the disorder in order to bring awareness. Shaquille O’Neal, Regis Philbin, Rosie O’Donnell, William Shatner, Quincy Jones, Reggie White, Roseanne Barr, Jerry Garcia, and Randy Jackson are among the list of stars who have been opened up about their experiences with OSA.
Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which a person’s throat muscles relax while they are sleeping and causes the airway to close. When air cannot flow properly, breathing becomes inadequate and the body does not receive the oxygen it needs. Symptoms of the disorder include loud snoring, daytime sleepiness, waking up abruptly with a gasp, nighttime sweating, waking up with a dry mouth or a sore throat, and morning headaches. If sleep apnea is not addressed, those with the disorder are at risk for cardiovascular problems, eye problems, and medication and surgery complications.
Sleep apnea can also be very dangerous for those who use drugs. Carrie Fisher, the famed Star Wars actress, passed away in December of 2016, partially as a result of sleep apnea. OSA, along with an existing heart condition and drug use, caused Fisher to suffer a heart attack on a flight on December 23, and she sadly passed four days later.
Obstructive sleep apnea should never be ignored. When OSA goes untreated, the results can be very serious. If you are suffering from sleep apnea, do not hesitate to contact the team at Silent Night Therapy. Our trained professionals are here to help you. Contact us today by calling us at (631) 983-2463.