Why people don’t mind living with Sleep Apnea
Lifestyle changes have made it impossible for an average individual to remain completely disease-free for long. Unless you are someone who eats a balanced diet, works out every day, meditates and practices good sleep hygiene; you may be suffering from one or the other lifestyle-related disorder. Sleep Apnea is one such disorder which is affecting our generation at an alarming rate. Yet, even those people who are aware about the disorder and what kind of harm it can cause, hesitate to seek treatment for OSA. Here are some of the reasons why people don’t seek OSA treatment and continue to snore at night –
1. Snoring can’t mean I am not breathing: There is a common misconception about snoring that it is a sign of sound sleeping. So, when sleep apnea patients are informed about the loud snoring and choking sounds that they make while sleeping, they have a tendency to simply write it off as a side effect of fatigue or stress. They don’t realize that due to obstructions in the airway, they experience frequent sleep disruptions during night. Poor breathing at night in turn causes lack of blood oxygen which could further result in severe physiological and neurological disorders.
2. The true harm caused by OSA remains hidden: As sleep apnea is largely a sleep-related disorder and the patient suffering from OSA rarely realises that his body is not getting enough oxygen during the night. The connection between the morning headaches, chronic fatigue, nausea, irritability and Sleep Apnea may still be evident to people. But people don’t realize that conditions like blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, neurological disorder, hypertension and even depression are also initiated and worsened due to OSA.
3. Belief that it can be cured with lifestyle changes: Even people who do realize the fatalistic and debilitating nature of Sleep Apnea avoid seeking professional help as they believe the disorder to be lifestyle related. Therefore, they believe that lifestyle changes such as observing better sleep hygiene, eating right and working out can correct Sleep Apnea symptoms.
4. Fear of surgery: Sleep Apnea patients who realize the importance of getting their OSA treated are in fact afraid of surgery. As the condition largely pertains to tissue blockage of the airways and the blockage has to be removed for proper breathing to continue while sleeping, OSA patients assume surgery to be their only option. They don’t realize that for mild cases of Sleep Apnea, memory foam pillows and better sleep posture can also prove to be effective. Furthermore, there are various other alternatives to surgery which can enable a sleep apnea patient to sleep and breathe well at night.
5. The inconvenience of mask: Unfortunately, even the most informed patients are slaves to their personal comfort. They don’t want the inconvenience of wearing a mask every night at bedtime. Also, depending upon the opinion and experiences of other CPAP users and Sleep Apnea patients, these people delay the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea just to avoid the discomfort.
6. The cost scares them: And the most prevalent excuse is the high cost of CPAP treatment or surgery to correct Sleep Apnea. Although the upfront cost of Sleep Apnea treatment is quite high; the improvement in quality of life and alleviation of several disorders actually makes it a smart investment.
So if you are among those who have been suspecting the onset of sleep apnea and are hesitating in taking professional help, stop procrastinating and get a sleep study done at your nearest sleep clinic. Sleep Apnea treatment will not only let you sleep better at night but will also completely transform your life.
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