Staying Mindful of Snoring Can Protect Your Memory

| September 22, 2017 | 0 Comments | Email This Post Email This Post
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Portrait of senior angry woman awaken by her husband snoring

As we get older, and ideally a little wiser, a reality check is that our bodies alter and, for most of us, some physical activities are no longer an option. A hallmark sign of aging is declining memory and changes in sleep patterns, often marked by worsening snoring. Don’t ignore the comments from your spouse that your snoring is more prevalent than in your youth, as this can be a subtle clue that you have a frequently ignored (yet serious) medical condition. Persistent snoring is a classic sign of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and the risk of developing the condition increases with advancing age. The good news is that treatment can lessen some of the side effects, such as a foggy memory or dwindling energy levels.

OSA occurs when enlarged and/or relaxed throat muscles obstruct the upper airway, blocking air from entering and leaving the lungs. OSA affects 25 million Americans and is common amongst people who are overweight, have a large neck circumference, and are 40 or more years old. With more than 80% of sleep apnea patients having OSA, it is the most common form of sleep apnea. Other subtle symptoms of OSA are sleep deprivation/chronic sleepiness, frequent visits to the bathroom at night, difficulty concentrating, pauses in breathing while sleeping, excessive daytime fatigue, or even other health consequences – like depression. Many people naturally gain weight with age, but closely observe changes in fat distribution. An increased neck size can cause the throat space to become even narrower, making it harder to breathe when sleeping—thus snoring occurs. An increased circumference of the neck coupled with snoring should be a wake-up call to be screened for OSA.

If you suspect you or your spouse’s snoring is due to OSA, then it is imperative to be tested. This can be done at a sleep center, or at home with a portable sleep monitor that relays the data to a licensed sleep professional for an accurate diagnosis. It is also very important to immediately seek treatment once a diagnosis is confirmed, as this can be life saving. My company recently conducted a survey and nearly 46% of respondents waited years before getting tested for sleep apnea. Undiagnosed OSA can result in serious short and long-term health complications, such as: high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, irregular heartbeat, and driving and work-related accidents. There effective treatment options for sleep apnea and OSA, though CPAP machines are seen as “the gold standard”. These therapies have been in use for years and have dramatically enhanced the lives of OSA patients as long as they stick with it. Every year new innovations and product enhancements make CPAP equipment more effective, comfortable, and easy to use.

The adage ‘getting old ain’t easy’ may be true, but with the benefit of a little education and technology, everyone suffering from OSA (or another form of sleep apnea) can breathe a little easier at night and wake up feeling refreshed the following morning. Just as you wouldn’t think of going out without getting dressed, it should be just as unthinkable to go to bed at night without using your CPAP machine.

About the author

Mike Schmidt, President of SoClean – the CPAP sanitizing device company based in Massachusetts, previously led VenMill Industries when the focus of their technology was cleaning DVDs. When Mike and his team realized DVDs were not going to be part of everyday use anymore, they brainstormed problems that people face every day, and how they could create a solution to one of those problems with a new application of their existing technology. With multiple team members having personal experience with sleep apnea, including Mike Schmidt’s wife, they decided to develop a product that would make lives easier for those that suffer from the sleep disorder with their automated sanitizing technology— and SoClean was born. SoClean is the first and only automated CPAP sanitizing device currently on the market and uses safe, and natural, ozone technology to kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria and germs that can be found in a CPAP device.

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