Don’t think for a second that the typical patient with sleep apnea is a fat man with a thick neck. Skinny young women have sleep apnea.
In fact, it’s estimated that 25 percent of the population has obstructive sleep apnea, and that millions of people go through life having no idea that they have this condition.
It is strongly linked to a number of serious illnesses – common conditions such as coronary artery disease, heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure, atrial fibrillation, type 2 diabetes, kidney dysfunction, ADHD symptoms and difficulty losing weight.
The myth is that most sleep apnea patients are fat, and that all that extra fat in their throat tissue chokes them off while they sleep.
Though obesity causes excess fat in the throat which can easily contribute to airway collapse during sleep, here’s something you probably don’t know:
If a skinny athlete has a naturally small airway and/or small jaw, this anatomy alone can result in sleep apnea – no matter how physically fit this person is and no matter how healthful their diet is.
NOT ALL SLEEP APNEA PATIENTS EXPERIENCE DAYTIME SYMPTOMS!
Hey, did you know that being awakened by a full bladder in the middle of the night is a common symptom of sleep apnea?
Do you have to “go” at least twice overnight, nearly every single night?
• Have you been told your frequent overnight trips to the loo are due to menopause? Think again; could be sleep apnea!
• Have you been told that your overnight active bladder is due to an enlarged prostate? Better rethink that!
• Sleep apnea causes a chain reaction in the body that results in the kidneys filling up the bladder with urine. When it gets full enough you awaken!
It’s not the other way around, in which a very light sleeper can’t sleep through a full bladder.
• The bladder is NOT supposed to fill up while you sleep! It’s supposed to stay EMPTY.
• Having to urinate overnight is called nocturia. Nocturia is a powerful predictor of sleep apnea.
Learn More About Obstructive Sleep Apnea by Clicking the Articles Below – in Plain English
All About the “Masks”
- Safety of CPAP machines
- Can sometimes CPAP use still be effective?
- If you have no daytime symptoms do you still need CPAP?
- CPAP’s effect on lowering risk of heart damage
- Why can’t supplemental oxygen alone treat OSA?
- Taking an occasional night off from CPAP
- Preventing mold in the CPAP humidifier
- Still feeling exhausted despite CPAP therapy?
- Can you be too old to benefit from CPAP?
Crushing the Myths
- Definition of mild sleep apnea
- Can mild OSA increase mortality?
- Is mild but untreated OSA dangerous?
- Frequent bathroom trips are highly suggestive of OSA
- Trying to convince yourself that your overnight active bladder is caused by anxiety rather than sleep apnea?
Polysomnography (sleep study for diagnosis)
- What to do if you don’t have insurance
- Can a sleep study miss OSA?
- Can a finger oxygen reader alone detect OSA?
Scourge of Untreated OSA
- OSA gasp vs. LPR gasp
- OSA without daytime symptoms
- When sleep apnea occurs only when falling asleep
- Why aren’t light sleepers constantly awakened by apnea events?
- Sleep apnea headache vs. brain tumor headache
What You Thought You Knew…
- You know you might have OSA when…
- How to tell you might have OSA
- Why it seems so many people are getting diagnosed with sleep apnea
- Number of people with OSA
- What the typical sleep apnea patient looks like