Sleep scientists and physicians are waking up to an alarming fact there may be a sleep apnea epidemic on the rise.
And the reasons behind this potential upswing in cases of sleep apnea all boils down to the baby boomer generation. Easily one of the largest segments of the population, this large group is clearly reaching a new stage in life.
Researchers estimate the population of adults in America who are 65-years-old or more will increase from 13.5 million in 1991 to 21.8 million in 2020.
But these numbers also indicate cases of sleep apnea are likely to rise. In addition to obesity, growing older is one of the largest factors to an increased risk in sleep apnea.
So if you are in the baby boomer set, keep the following in mind to ensure that sleep apnea doesn’t interrupt the many fun years ahead.
1. You may have had sleep apnea for years, but didn’t know it.
Sleep apnea is tricky, simply because it can be hard to diagnose, and the side effects can be subtle. The side effects can easily be shrugged off as something that you’ve been living with for years.
But like most, all medical conditions, sleep apnea gets gradually worse over the years and doesn’t get better without treatment.
So even if you’ve been putting up with side effects for years, you still have a problem, and seeking treatment is the only cure.
2. You may think your sleep apnea side effects are something else.
There are a lot of sleep apnea-related side effects that may be easy to incorrectly identify as signs that you’re “just getting older.”
Body aches and inflammation, more headaches, lack of concentration and overall fatigue can all be easily misinterpreted as signs of age.
But don’t be fooled. If you notice a decline in energy levels and cognitive abilities, sleep apnea may very well be to blame.
And because sleep apnea is such a prevalent problem, it’s certainly worth checking with your doctor to see if your “signs of aging” are actually symptoms of sleep apnea instead.
3. Your risks for other health issues are greater.
Risks for health issues associated with sleep apnea go up the longer the condition is left untreated. Also, the risk factors for many of these health issues naturally rise with age.
This means that automatically, as a baby boomer, the potential to develop other conditions and medical issues as a result of sleep apnea is naturally higher, which makes it that much more important to get tested and treated as soon as possible.
4. Getting tested and treated won’t interfere with your healthy lifestyle.
If you are on the verge of retirement, chances are that you’re looking forward to the fun and active next stage in your life.
But you’ll be glad to know that sleep apnea treatments are unobtrusive, uncomplicated and don’t have to interfere with your life.
So celebrate the next milestone by ensuring your health is in tip top shape. By getting tested and treated as soon as signs of sleep apnea arise, you’re doing your part to make sure that a population-wide sleep apnea problem remains at bay.
We Can Help
Want to learn more about to sleep apnea treatments?