Essay Sleep Apnea: The Unsuspected Killer

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In spite of their efforts to ensure they obtain sufficient sleep to prevent daytime sleepiness, many people are consistently tired during the day. Some of them have a breathing disorder called sleep apnea, although they may be completely unaware of this fact. When the symptoms of sleep apnea are unrecognized or ignored, the disorder usually causes a combination of medical, social, and psychological illnesses -- which can become life-threatening over a prolonged period. Although sleep apnea is not a curable disorder, when symptomatic individuals utilize the availability of a simplistic diagnosis process and effective treatments, they will participate in a preventative medicine, adding years to their lives. Although sleep seems to be…show more content…
"Sleep apnea is a breathing disorder that affects people while they sleep. The most common symptom is loud, heavy snoring, which is often treated as a joke." But sleep apnea is no joking matter, as the risks involved are potentially fatal (Pascualy 1). The following case study is provided by Johnson: Beginning at about age 35, Fred Hampton, an overweight man who drove for a living became increasingly tired during the daytime. He napped frequently at lunchtime. During trips he sometimes pulled off the road to rest when he became too tired to continue. His wife was aware that he snored, had interruptions in his breathing, and gasped for breath during sleep. No one suspected sleep apnea syndrome. At age 40, on the way home from work within three miles of his home he fell asleep at the wheel and hit a tree. He suffered a spinal injury that left him paralyzed below the waist. Only then was he discovered to have severe obstructive sleep apnea. (20) People with sleep apnea struggle to breathe and sleep at the same time. Since humans cannot live with only breathing or sleeping exclusively, life becomes a struggle as these vital functions are required to coexist (Johnson 28). Any number of the following symptoms may be a sign that a person suffers from sleep apnea: loud

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