Simple Snoring or Sleep Apnea? Understanding the Health Risks

January 23, 2015

Winter has set in and curling up with a good book or catching a few winks while watching the big game can seem like the perfect way to spend a cold January afternoon. Besides, everyone is tired, right? Although most of us feel more tired as we age, nodding off, yawning constantly and feeling run down may be due to more than just the aging process. Sleep apnea may be the culprit.

Did you know that up to 80% of people who suffer from sleep apnea don’t even realize they have it? Here at Hillandale, our professional and caring staff works to maintain the highest standards in the healthcare and retirement industry. Part of that commitment is sharing valuable health information with our residents and families. Most people think of snoring when they think of sleep apnea, but snoring doesn’t always indicate this problem.

Obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the soft tissue at the back of your throat collapses and blocks your air flow. As a result, you repeatedly stop breathing. You begin to feel tired because your brain has to wake you up to make you take a breath over and over again.

Each time your brain has to wake you back up to take a breath, your blood pressure rises, your heart is stressed and your blood surges with sugar. Together these reactions put you at risk for strokes, heart attacks and diabetes.

Signs of sleep apnea

If you or a loved one experiences these signs, talk to your healthcare provider to see if you are experiencing sleep apnea. You may be a candidate for a sleep study to learn more. Signs can include:

  • Snoring
  • Gaining weight
  • High blood pressure
  • Depression

Treating sleep apnea

Your healthcare provider can work with you to treat sleep apnea. Depending on your situation, treatment options may include:

  • Losing weight
  • Sleeping on your side
  • Stopping smoking
  • Avoiding alcohol and sedatives before bed
  • Using CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) masks to provide a continuous stream of air to keep the airway open
  • Using oral appliances that reposition the tongue and lower jaw and help prevent airway collapse. .

At Hillandale, our experienced caregivers can connect you with information about this and other health topics that can affect seniors. Call us today at 513-777-1400 to meet our team and schedule a tour of one of our three locations. We look forward to meeting with you!

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