Snoring: May Be Deadly If Not Treated Right

Have you had to move to another bedroom because of your spouse's snoring?  It's possible he (or she) has sleep apnea, a period of not breathing during the night that can happen hundreds of times during the night.   Not only does this not allow the person to get real sleep, it can also kill him.

Experts estimate that between 10 and 20% of the population who are middle-aged suffers from sleep apnea,
where breathing is briefly interrupted or becomes very shallow during sleep. But here's where the death part comes in. Sleep apnea can lead to serious health problems over time, including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and weight gain.

And now they're even connecting it to Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Markers for the disease are present 15 to 20 years in people with sleep apnea, before the disease manifests itself, according to You just have to know what you're looking for.

Strangely enough, markers for AD were only found in the lean participants with sleep apnea in a recent trial.  Doctors aren't sure whether AD can lead to sleep apnea, or sleep apnea predisposes a person to AD.  Studies are proceeding on both possibilities.

In the meantime, the professional who can most help is your dentist. That's because she can fit you with a continuous airway positive airway passage, or CPAP, a device that keeps your mouth open and pushes air into your nasal passages while you sleep so you can't stop breathing. But many people find this huge mask too intrusive and half abandon it after one to three weeks.

A new patch, Provent, is something else that can help.  According to Anahad O'Connor, the patch fits over the nostrils and creates just enough air pressure to keep the airways open.

Either way, ignoring this problem will not make it go away.  Look for a sleep center where you can be tested and then fitted for a device, if needed.


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