Many of the symptoms of sleep apnea might seem innocuous if you don’t know better. Many people with sleep apnea make the mistake that these symptoms are just related to getting older. Lack of energy, daytime sleepiness, and memory problems are all things that people think go along with getting older. But it’s important to be aware of the risks.
Signs of Aging or Sleep Apnea
Although it is true that you might find yourself slowing down as you get older, it’s not normal for you to start needing a nap every day, if you’re sleeping properly at night. In fact, the tendency is for people to need less sleep as they age, except for the elderly who have other health conditions.
Memory problems should also not be taken as a given. Many people are able to stay mentally aware as they get older, but those with sleep apnea may have difficulty much younger–they’re at an elevated risk for early-onset dementia.
High blood pressure and other heart problems can also come with age, but when associated with sleep apnea, they are more serious and need to be treated as part of sleep apnea. In fact, they may not respond to other medications and treatments.
Loss of sexual desire can come with age, but it may also be related to sleep apnea. As can a loss of performance.
Weight gain may just be a sign that you’re slowing down and aren’t getting as much exercise as you used to, or it might be a sign that sleep apnea is interfering with your metabolism or eating habits.
Even though you might be tempted to mistake the nature of your illness, there are some serious warnings that you should never mistake. These are signs that you have sleep apnea and it should be given attention soon.
Loud snoring is always an important warning sign for sleep apnea. If it has been reported that you are a loud snorer, then it’s time for you to talk to a doctor about your potential sleep apnea.
Falling asleep in the middle of the day may mean the need for a sleep test. It’s one thing if you fall asleep in your lounger while watching TV reruns after a glass or two of wine or beer. It’s another thing if you find yourself dozing off behind the wheel.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension), and it’s not responding to medications, it’s likely related to sleep apnea.
There’s No Harm in Talking to Your Doctor
Even if you don’t see any of the serious warning signs, there’s no harm in having a conversation with your doctor. If you don’t have sleep apnea, the various travails of age can be addressed individually.
But if you do have sleep apnea, it’s possible many of them may resolve with one simple, comfortable sleep apnea treatment. You may be able to cut a few prescriptions from your long list. And that, too, is good for your body.
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apnea in Omaha, we can help you find the right treatment. Please call today for an appointment with sleep dentist Dr. Roger Roubal at the Advanced Dental Sleep Treatment Center.