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Published On: Wed, Oct 15th, 2014

4 Signs of the Silent Killer Around the World – Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea: It means more than embarrassing snoring that could wake the dead. It’s a very deadly, life-threatening condition that may require costly medical intervention, sometimes including surgery. It’s also difficult to diagnose yourself since you’re (of course) asleep when it acts up. Without seeing a sleep specialist and often times engaging in a sleep lab study overnight, many people may not get the help they need. This is especially prevalent in low-income communities and/or developing countries where access to this level of healthcare just isn’t manageable.

Tom Hanks in The Terminal by Steven Spielberg sleeping in airportSleep apnea sufferers often need high tech equipment like CPAP machines in order to restore proper breathing and open up air flow. Other times, working with a sleep doctor to re-learn healthy sleep hygiene can do the trick. In extreme situations, surgery might be a literal lifesaver. There are a few waking signs and symptoms of sleep apnea to watch out for. Here are some clues that you might be suffering from it and not even know it:

1. Chronic fatigue

This one seems obvious, right? There are many reasons for chronic fatigue, and sleep apnea is one of them. However, no matter what the cause of your constant tiredness, it needs to be addressed by a doctor. Lack of quality sleep is detrimental to your entire well-being, leads to poor quality of life, and can even be deadly in some cases.

2. Insomnia

How can you have sleep apnea if you have trouble sleeping? Insomnia is a surprising side effect of sleep apnea because your body and brain know that when you sleep you’re in trouble, so they’re choosing the lesser of two evils. Again, there are many causes of insomnia, but no matter what they may be they need to be addressed.

3. Your concentration has gone downhill

Maybe you feel “fine” but have trouble concentrating or paying attention. This might seem normal to you if you’ve had sleep apnea for awhile, or maybe you just blame it on being overworked. Checking in with a doctor is the only way to find out if your lack of concentration is due to sleep issues, another problem or maybe you just need to practice saying “no” a little more and ditch the multi-tasking.

4. You’re anxious and irritable

Everyone gets in a foul mood from time to time, but if it happens a lot it can be a sign of sleep apnea. Of course, it also might just be a sign that you need to practice better stress management, too.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

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