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As many as eighty percent of those Americans who have sleep apnea have no idea they have it, according to a comprehensive study conducted by Harvard University. The cost of this undiagnosed condition has grave consequences for those who suffer with it, their loved ones, and our economy.
The impact on one’s health can be devasting. Many of those with undiagnosed obstructed sleep apnea experience severe side effects such as memory loss, impotence, weight gain, daytime drowsiness, and headaches. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and, recently, has been linked to dementia.
The impact to one’s health doesn’t end with an increased risk of disease. There is also an increased risk of workplace and auto accidents. In fact, it is estimated that over twenty-nine billion in costs occur annually associated with automobile accidents and close to seven billion in work place incidents. Total costs associated with the disorder are close to one hundred and fifty billion dollars in America every year and rising.
Estimates are that as many as twelve percent of Americans suffer from Obstruction Sleep Apnea in some form. Education is essential to encourage those who suffer from symptoms to seek testing. Once it is discovered, there are many options for treatment, from CPAP machines to the less invasive and typically more tolerated dental appliances.
If the symptoms described sound familiar to you, don’t wait to seek diagnoses. A better nights sleep and better health may be waiting.
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