It's important to take sleep apnea seriously.
But the good news is there is a treatment for it, and most people experience a whole range of benefits from being treated:
- By treating your sleep apnea, you may help to lower the associated risks and improve your overall health.1
- Untreated sleep apnea is also associated with symptoms including dizziness, , shortness of breath and chest discomfort, which may be reduced when your sleep apnea is treated.2-3
- People with sleep apnea can become too tired to exercise, making some of their underlying conditions worse. Obese people being treated for their sleep apnea gain more energy, which may then help them exercise and lose weight.4 And weight loss has been shown to improve sleep apnea for some people.5
- Treating your sleep apnea when you are recovering from a major illness may combat your fatigue, so you have the motivation to follow a rehabilitation program.
- In many cases, treatment has been shown to reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea, such as daytime sleepiness, depressed mood, reduced memory and concentration, and reduced quality of life (especially in the areas of work performance and family relationships).6
If you suspect you might have sleep apnea, you're only a few steps away from a better night's sleep and feeling like yourself again. Go see your doctor or take our simple quiz first to see if you might be at risk.
Lianne M. Tomfohr, MS, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, PhD, Jose S. Loredo, MD, and Joel E. Dimsdale, MD. Effects of Continuous Positive Airway Pressure on Fatigue and Sleepiness in Patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Data from a Randomized Controlled Trial. Sleep. 2011 January 1;Supported by grants HL44915 (JED), AG08415 (SAI),and RR 00827 (University of California San Diego General Clinical Research Center grant). 34(1): 121–126.
Romero-Corral A, Caples SM, Lopez-Jimenez F, Somers VK. Interactions between obesity and obstructive sleep apnea: implications for treatment. Chest. 2010 Mar; At the time of the writing of this manuscript, Dr Romero-Corral was supported by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the American Heart Association. Dr Caples is supported by NIH grant HL99534. Dr Lopez-Jimenez is a recipient of a Clinical Scientist Development Award from the American Heart Association. Dr Somers is supported by NIH grants HL-65176, HL-73211, and 1UL1 RR024150, and by the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. 137(3):711-9.