The Dangers of Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea

According to Columbia University, 90 percent of people with obstructive sleep apnea don't know they have it.

Sleep apnea

What Does It Mean to Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea?

Suffering from sleep apnea and not knowing or receiving treatment for it means suffering in silence. Because of the implications of living with sleep apnea, people who have it experience trouble breathing, don't get enough sleep, and risk their lives.

Who Is Most At Risk?

Those most at risk for experiencing sleep apnea typically fall into one or a combination of categories:

  • Excess weight - Obesity greatly increases sleep apnea risk. Fat deposits around the upper airway can obstruct breathing and cause Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).
  • Those with a narrowed airway - Some patients are unfortunate enough to have inherited a narrow throat. Additionally, a patient's tonsils or adenoids might become enlarged and block their airway.
  • Men - Men are two to three times more likely to have sleep apnea than are women. Women's risk increases if they're overweight or are postmenopausal.
  • Older adults - Sleep apnea occurs significantly more often in older adults.
  • Alcohol or drug users: Depressants relax the muscles in your throat, which can worsen obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Smokers - Smokers are three times more likely to have obstructive sleep apnea than those who don't. Smoking can increase inflammation and fluid retention in the upper airway.
  • People with nasal congestion - If you have difficulty breathing through your nose, either the result of an anatomical problem or allergies, you're more likely to develop obstructive sleep apnea.

How to Know You Might Have Trouble Sleeping

  • Your partner regularly mentions your habit of snoring
  • Waking up not feeling rested
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Frequently waking up in the middle of the night
  • Waking up choking or gasping for air

Sleep Apnea Treatment in Pittsburgh, PA

If you're wondering whether you're suffering from undiagnosed sleep apnea, Dr. Firouzi can provide remarkable treatment plans and help patients experience lasting relief.Of course, every situation is unique, and what is best in your situation will be discussed in greater detail during your sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Firouzi. Please contact Dr. Firouzi today by calling (412) 274-1126 or visiting our contact page.