A Wake Up Call: What You Need to Know About Sleep Apnea
Education & Research More than 50 million Americans suffer from over 80 different sleep disorders, and another 20 to 30 million suffer intermittent sleep problems each year.
At least 25 million Americans (1 in 5 adults) suffer from sleep apnea, a serious sleep and breathing condition that affects members of every race, socioeconomic class and age group. It is estimated that 85 percent of the population who have sleep apnea remain undiagnosed and untreated.
A world of risks
Untreated sleep apnea and the resulting chronic sleep loss are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, anxiety and depression, certain types of cancer, automobile crashes, on-the-job accidents, and all-cause mortality along with impaired work productivity, academic performance, and reduced quality of life.
"Untreated sleep apnea and the resulting chronic sleep loss are associated with an increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, anxiety and depression, as well as certain types of cancer."
Sleep apnea is a particular concern for individuals with chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mental illness, inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
A gateway diagnosis
The average sleep apnea patient is unaware or misdiagnosed and remains untreated for 5-15 years. During this time patients often develop serious medical conditions. Patients and physicians are often unaware of the direct relationship of hypertension, diabetes, obesity, COPD and other conditions associated with untreated sleep disordered breathing.
It was reported that over 10 million people treat sleep apnea with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) with over 1.5 million set up in 2013 alone and with expected growth of an annual rate of 8 percent. Other treatment options include Oral Appliance Therapy and Upper Airway Stimulation.