Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that many people have that prevents enough airflow into the lungs to regulate everything. You need a certain amount of sleep every night, some more than others. But when you sleep, your body repairs itself. And that generally occurs in the final stage of sleep.
So if you’re not getting a full night’s sleep, if you’re awakening– sometimes you won’t even know it, but if you’re awakening at night 20, 30 times, which is fairly common, then you can’t get that sleep that you really need. We’re learning more and more about the value of sleep as it has to do with all kinds of systemic diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and that’s just about everything you can think of. That’s a factor in those diseases.
Probably, most of our patients, initially, are more concerned about snoring. And snoring is a very common symptom of sleep apnea. It doesn’t necessarily mean you have apnea or obstructive apnea, but typically, it does. So if you have a spouse that snores, they really need to get a sleep test. And find out if they’re apneic. If they’re apneic, then there are ways to treat that and that really needs to happen.