Over 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, but this number may be even higher because 80 percent of it is not diagnosed. To top that off, sleep apnea can lead to many health problems such as diabetes, stroke, and heart failure.
We understand if you feel like losing sleep over these facts, but luckily, sleep apnea is treatable without even leaving your home. In this post, we will look at everything there is to know about sleep apnea.
What is Sleep Apnea?
Are you or someone you know a loud snorer? It’s more than an annoyance; it can be a deadly sleep disorder. The snoring is due to the fact that your breathing keeps stopping. It can interrupt your sleep, and many who have it end up feeling tired the next day despite apparently sleeping for 8 hours.
Sleep apnea comes in three types:
- Obstructive. This is the most common form that happens when the muscles in your throat start relaxing.
- Central. This happens due to your brain not being able to signal your breathing muscles properly.
- Complex. This is a combination of the first two.
Besides snoring, there are some other symptoms that you need to be mindful of. A person with sleep apnea may wake up with a headache, dry mouth, or feel tired. They may gasp for air as they are sleeping. While some people sleep through the night, others may keep waking up. We should also mention that some cases of sleep apnea don’t involve snoring.
Sleep apnea tends to affect older, overweight males the most, but it can happen to anyone at any age. Don’t count yourself out because you’re female, younger, or of average weight.
It’s also not a disorder that just makes you feel sleepy. If left untreated, it can lead to memory loss, depression, heart disease, low immunity, diabetes, and other long-term or potentially deadly consequences.
Sleep apnea is treatable. For mild cases, simple lifestyle changes can get rid of it. For example, quitting smoking and losing weight may be all that you need in order to treat sleep apnea. However, for more severe cases, your doctor may prescribe breathing devices to deliver continuous air to you. This is something you may want to discuss with your doctor.
How Can I Test For it?
If you suspect you or a loved one have sleep apnea, you may wonder how you can test for it. This disorder can be tested by a professional or at home. Let’s look at both.
One way to test is through a sleep study known as polysomnography. This test involves going to sleep in a lab, and as you do so, your body activity is monitored. This test monitors your oxygen levels, heart, brain, and it monitors your apnea-hyponea, which is the level of severity your sleep apnea is. A level that’s <5 means there’s no sleep apnea. With sleep apnea, 5-15 means mild, 15-30 means moderate, and over 30 is severe.
This tends to take place in two halves of a night. The first half will diagnose you, and the second half will involve the staff giving you airway pressure.
While this seems like the preferred way, it’s more expensive, more of a hassle, and plus, who wants to sleep in a lab? That’s why many are looking to home tests that can offer accuracy and affordability.
Testing at Home
Home sleep apnea tests are possible as well. Back in the day, these tests could be quite inaccurate, but today, a home sleep apnea test is not only accurate, but affordable too. This test monitors your breathing, either through some breathing apparatus or an O2 ring. The O2 ring can detect your blood oxygen levels and alert you if there should be something wrong with your breathing.
While normal sleep apnea tests can start at over $500, testing at home can be done at a fraction of the cost. This is great because you can even send the results to your doctor when finished, and from there, they can prescribe you a solution.
While a professional diagnosis is important, this test is ideal if you are not sure you have it and want an affordable test to rule it out. One affordable way to get tested is the Wellue O2 ring.
How the Wellue O2 Ring Oximeter Can Help
This is a ring you can put over your finger. Just slip it on like you would a normal ring. It tracks your heart rate and oxygen levels all throughout the night, and if it detects level under 96 percent, it will vibrate. The ring is powered by a rechargeable battery, which can last up to 16 hours, which is more than a full night’s sleep.
Speaking of full night’s sleep, many people find that wearing a simple ring around the finger allows for a comfortable night’s sleep. Many may find that being in a lab hooked up to machines or having bulky testing equipment
This ring is good for diagnosing sleep apnea, asthma, COPD, and pneumonia as well. It comes with an app that allows you to monitor your stats and informs your doctor if there’s something wrong. You can also print it out manually and share it with your doctor, too.
It’s a useful, medical-grade ring that you’ll want to sleep with every night in order to have optimal health. Check it out if you are concerned about your health.
Sleep apnea is a deadly sleeping disorder. If you have a loved one who snores loudly, it can be a bit funny or perhaps obnoxious, but it can be a result of a deadly disorder that can lead to some severe side effects.
That’s why it’s important for you or the loved one to get tested for it. Telehealth has become more popular, and an O2 ring is an affordable, comfortable way for you to get tested for sleep apnea or to rule it out. Just slip it on your finger and it can do all the work for you.
If you end up having sleep apnea, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as you can. Follow your doctor’s advice and try to make some lifestyle changes that can make it less severe. This is not a disease that you want to test.