Often times, you don’t even know you have sleep apnea
Sleep apnea generally goes undetected and undiagnosed because a lot of doctors don’t uncover the condition during regular office visits. Most people that suffer from sleep apnea aren’t aware they suffer from it. A lot of times the first ones to become aware of your situation is a family member, spouse or bed partner.
The most common type of sleep apnea is referred to as obstructive sleep apnea. This is when your airway has collapsed or is restricted and this ensuing blockage causes shallow breathing or breathing pauses. When you try to breathe, any air that gets past the blockage can cause loud snoring (which is why a bed partner generally detects the problem first).
The reduced airflow and strained breathing put a lot of stress and strain on your heart. When you don’t get enough sleep in general, it can harm your heart. Cardiovascular disease, strokes, heart attacks and in critical cases even death, have all been connected to lack of sleep. Additionally, chronic sleep loss prevents your body’s ability to perform even basic metabolic functions, including regulating your hormones.