Are you at risk?
Strange question isn’t it? It is just that many people have misconceptions about sleep apnea? Discover here the risks and the symptoms in adults and children.
It is often believed that sleep apnea only affects older and overweight men, even if being male and overweight are two common indicators for this disease. Anyone can have sleep apnea, regardless of gender, age or body type. Furthermore, having any of thetraits described below may put you at increased risk(1).
WHO KNOWS ALL THE RISKS?
Besides being male, overweight and middle-aged, the post-menopause time for women is a critical period too. Some of your physical features may become risk factors for sleep apnea, such as having a small airway, a set-back or small lower jaw, large tonsils, large tongue, an abnormal face shape, or nasal blockage, or a large neck size (17 inches or more). Hence, having a medical condition that makes some of these factors above more likely- such as Down’s syndrome- is a risk factor too(1).
SLEEP APNEA SYMPTOMS
The most common symptom of sleep apnea is snoring, especially when it's loud and paired with pauses in breathing, gasping or chocking. You may also need to urinate frequently during the night or wake up with a morning headache. These signs of disturbed sleep may lead you to daytime fatigue, followed by poor memory, difficulty concentrating, irritability, changes in mood or even depression.
Be sure to talk to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms. If you do not, but still meet most of the traits described above, we recommend you also talk to your doctor.
Left untreated, symptoms of sleep apnea can lead to heart diseases such as hypertension, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia, or stroke(2).
Other symptoms of sleep apnea can include hypertension, heartburn, sexual dysfunction, or even pulmonary hypertension- although this latter is rare. (lien vers “What are the consequences and risks of the sleep apnea?”) The excessive sleepiness during the day may lead to automobile or work-related accidents due to drowsy driving(3).
SLEEP APNEA IN CHILDREN
Sleep apnea in children is commoner than is generally recognized. A child with sleep apnea always snores, struggles to breathe, sweats or sleeps in unusual postures. This restless night can be the cause of behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, retarded growth, learning difficulties and poor performance at school(4).
If noticed, the safest thing to do is to see a doctor and have you or your children diagnosed.