Perhaps you’ve woken to find yourself short of breath or feeling as though your airway is blocked. Maybe your partner has witnessed your breathing stop temporarily while you’re asleep. No matter how you’ve discovered this phenomenon, it’s important to recognize that it is a serious health concern, and you are not alone.
As one of several symptoms of sleep apnea, cessation of breathing poses a major health risk, because it can cut off the supply of oxygen to your brain. Often times, this temporary lack of airflow is caused by the relaxation of muscles in your throat, which naturally narrows your airway. However, people suffering from sleep apnea experience an even more dramatically narrowed airway as a result of biological conditions and health choices.
Affecting millions of people across the US, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is responsible for this airway blockage. In most cases, your body’s natural response to the lack of airflow is to jerk you awake, however, in extreme instances, you may not be fully roused, leading to permanent brain damage and even death.
If you are male, overweight, diabetic or middle-aged or older, you are at a greater risk for obstructive sleep apnea. While other factors may play a role in your periodic cessation of breathing, it is critical that you seek help immediately to ensure you are sleeping safely.
To receive more information about OSA and its health effects, contact My CPAP Club today. One of our knowledgeable and friendly sleep experts will provide you with the information you need to sleep safely and soundly. If you have serious concerns about your health, make sure to speak with your primary care physician.