Originally posted on August 14, 2010
As most of you know, I have sleep apnea. Another lovely side effect of morbid obesity. I use a CPAP machine every night when I sleep. Albeit the fact that it helps me sleep and that I wake up rested and with energy, I hate that friggin machine. I have strap marks when I wake up in the morning. I have skin irritation on my forehead, nose and above my mouth. It royally bites and I can't wait until the day I do not need it anymore.
Am I at Risk for Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea can affect anyone at any age, even children. Risk factors for sleep apnea include:
Being over the age of forty
Having a large neck size (17 inches or greater in men and 16 inches or greater in women)
Having large tonsils, a large tongue, or a small jaw bone
Having a family history of sleep apnea
Gastroesophageal reflux, or GERD
Nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies, or sinus problems
What Are the Effects of Sleep Apnea?
If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in a growing number of health problems including:
High blood pressure
Heart failure, irregular heart beats, and heart attacks
Worsening of ADHD
In addition, untreated sleep apnea may be responsible for poor performance in everyday activities, such as at work and school, motor vehicle crashes, as well as academic underachievement in children and adolescents.
Common sleep apnea symptoms include:
Waking up with a very sore and/or dry throat
Occasionally waking up with a choking or gasping sensation
Sleepiness or lack of energy during the day
Sleepiness while driving
Forgetfulness, mood changes, and a decreased interest in sex
Recurrent awakenings or insomnia
If you have any of these symptoms, it would be worthwhile to have it checked. The polysomnigram is an easy test they use to determine your oxygen levels while you sleep. I even did mine at home.
I know it is scary but it is a life threatening condition so if you are exhibiting any of the symptoms, PLEASE get it checked out. Until next time...