Like many Americans, you may be familiar with the term sleep apnea, but are unfamiliar with exactly what sleep apnea is and how it can affect your overall health and well being. Sleep apnea is often described as a potentially serious condition wherein one’s breathing repeatedly starts and stops while sleeping, usually unbeknownst to the person. It’s estimated that sleep apnea affects an estimated 18 million Americans.
However, it’s also been estimated that two to four percent of all Americans suffer from sleep apnea yet remain undiagnosed. This accounts for nearly one in 50 individuals that go undiagnosed. People who suffer from sleep apnea yet are unaware they have the condition face a much higher risk of stroke, up to four times higher than those who are not afflicted. In addition, sleep apnea sufferers are up to three times as likely to have heart disease. In fact, according to the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research, nearly 38,000 deaths occur on an annual basis related to cardiovascular problems that can be linked in some way or another to sleep apnea.
While sleep apnea is considered a potentially deadly condition, there are a variety of treatment options that allow sufferers to live healthy lives. For example, sleep apnea masks, bipap masks CPAP masks, are some of the most effective treatments for sleep apnea.
These masks work by providing continuous or steady supply of positive airway pressure, which in turn, disrupts the sleep apnea cycle and prevents episodes of not breathing.
While both bipap masks and CPAP masks can be expensive, both are completely covered by most insurance carriers. For best results and continued coverage, it’s recommended that patients should use CPAP at least 70% of the time over the course of a 30 day period, and at least 4 hours every night. In addition, it’s also recommended that patients regulate their weight and maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.