Patient Blogs | Sleep Disorders
What to Say When People Ask You About Sleep Apnea
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When you get a sleep apnea diagnosis, your friends and family may have some questions to ask you about your condition. Here are some common questions and answers that you can provide for anyone asking about your condition.

Does It Hurt?

No. Sleep apnea doesn’t cause any pain whatsoever. You’ll feel a lot of fatigue if you’re not using sleep therapy such as a CPAP machine, but there’s no physical pain. If you snore loudly at night, you may have a bit of a sore throat in the morning, but that’s about it.

What Are the Symptoms?

Sleep apnea causes you to feel tired more often. You may wake up and feel tired even if you have had 8 hours of sleep. Apnea interrupts your deep sleep, which causes fatigue the next day. You may fall asleep more often even if you don’t feel tired. 

Other symptoms may include a sore throat from heavy snoring the next day or a lack of energy. Untreated apnea can make it more difficult to concentrate and you may experience brain fog more often.

Do You Need to Change Your Lifestyle?

Yes. While you can carry on doing what you’re doing with sleep apnea, a lifestyle change is beneficial. This should include a balanced diet and regular exercise. Losing weight can also help you manage sleep apnea a lot better.

Quitting smoking and reducing how much alcohol you drink also will help you sleep better. You should maintain a proper sleep schedule and always use your CPAP mask for better sleep outcomes.

Do You Need Medication?

There’s no medication involved in treating sleep apnea. If you have other conditions, you’ll still take your regular prescriptions, but sleep apnea doesn’t require medication unless you have some other underlying health condition. 

Some people may take medication for certain sleep problems that are related to sleep apnea, but most won’t have to take anything.

Am I at Risk?

Sleep apnea is not contagious; It’s a sleep condition and not a disease. If you’re overweight, snore heavily, and frequently feel sleepy during the daytime, you may have sleep apnea. 

You can also be thin and healthy and still have sleep apnea. You’ll want to get checked for it, which requires a sleep test if you have any of the symptoms. The test takes place in your home or at a sleep clinic.

Can I Prevent It?

If you stay at a healthy weight and get plenty of exercise, you probably won’t develop sleep apnea. You should get checked periodically to make sure that you haven’t developed sleep apnea if you experience any sleep apnea-related symptoms. In general, a healthy lifestyle reduces your risks by a wide margin of developing sleep apnea, but not entirely.

Your loved ones may ask questions about sleep apnea such as the ones above. It’s important to let others know about your condition. Seek out support because it will help you through the rough days as you manage your sleep apnea.




Photo Credit: herkisi / E+ via Getty Images

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Brian Lamacraft

Brian Lamacraft

Diagnosed since 2017

Brian Lamacraft has lived with sleep apnea for over 4 years. He is a full-time writer and guitar player. He spends his spare time writing music, going to the Royal Canadian Legion, and having fun camping trips with close friends. He lives in Powell River, Canada, with his lovely wife. Reach him at his website or LinkedIn.

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