How Dangerous is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is getting a great deal of attention in the medical world lately and with good reason. According to an article posted on the AARP website, people who are aged 65 and older are at an elevated risk for obstructive sleep apnea. Unfortunately, only about 8 percent of them have been tested for the condition.


Caregiver in Mississauga: Sleep Apnea

Caregiver in Mississauga: Sleep Apnea



Part of the problem is that many people can’t imagine they could have sleep apnea. The disease is often associated with overweight men who snore. However, it affects all kinds of people. Understanding the condition may help you spot it in your aging relative and get them the care they need.

What is Sleep Apnea?

Sleep apnea is a kind of sleep disorder in which the person stops and starts breathing while they sleep. There are three kinds of sleep apnea:

Obstructive Sleep Apnea: The is the most common form in which the muscles of the throat relax, cutting off the airway.

Central Sleep Apnea: This kind of sleep apnea happens when the brain sends errant signals to the muscles involved in breathing.

Complex Sleep Apnea Syndrome: This is a combination of obstructive and central sleep apnea.


The symptoms of obstructive and central sleep apnea are similar. They include:

  • Snoring loudly.
  • Stopping breathing while sleeping, which is usually noticed by someone else.
  • Gasping while sleeping.
  • Waking up with the mouth dry.
  • Having headaches in the morning.
  • Trouble staying asleep.
  • Feeling very sleepy during the day.
  • Trouble paying attention.
  • Irritability.


What Are the Complications?

While sleep apnea may sound like just a nuisance, it can be a serious problem. It has been associated with many other health problems, including:

High Blood Pressure: Sleep apnea can worsen high blood pressure because it stresses the body and impacts the body’s hormonal system. Sometimes when people who have hypertension get treatment for sleep apnea, their blood pressure levels improve.

Heart Disease: Sleep apnea has been associated with a higher risk for heart attack. Experts believe that lack of oxygen is a contributor as well as the stress of waking up often.

Diabetes: Not sleeping well can make it harder for the body to use insulin efficiently.

Home care can help spot the signs of sleep apnea in your aging relative. If they are diagnosed with the condition, home care can assist them with using a CPAP machine, which is a common treatment for sleep apnea. Home care can also help with cleaning the CPAP machine regularly.

If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring a Caregiver in Mississauga, please contact the caring professionals at Staff Relief Health Care 24/7 at (905)-709-1767.



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