Obstructive Sleep Apnea and the Single Adult

For single adults, with obstructive sleep apnea, the hardest issue to deal with is the misdiagnosis. All too often, single adults are involved in social activities, work related performance and standard daily living which can be physically burdensome to the body. Understanding the cause of obstructive sleep apnea, the symptoms associated with the condition and methods of treatment, will assist the single adult in remedying unusual day symptoms which may have been previously misdiagnosed.

As the leading cause of sleep apnea, obstruction involves the blockage of soft tissue in the rear of the throat. While sleeping the soft tissue, which progressively loses elasticity, begins to weigh heavier on the throat resulting in interim periods of interrupted breathing. Most common among men, and individuals over 40 years of age, obstructive sleep apnea may be misdiagnosed in single adults. Misdiagnosis often is the result of side effects attributed to a non-sleep apnea related condition and the lack of another individual, while sleeping, who can verify the sleep apnea even exists.

For single adults, obstructive sleep apnea will present with a variety of daytime symptoms. Because sleep is interrupted as often as 400 times a night, for up to 30 seconds in duration, obstructive sleep apnea may result in morning headaches, excessive fatigue, moodiness, decreased sex drive, depression, heartburn and difficulty concentrating. For those individuals who are overweight, there is an additional risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea and, unfortunately, for single adults the symptoms described may be attributed to weight erroneously.

When suffering from these daytime symptoms, a consultation with a medical practitioner is in order. When visiting with the physician, a complete health examination should be performed including blood work and a sleep study, either at home or in a facility. By undergoing a sleep study, the obstructive sleep apnea is confirmed through the use of a sleep monitor which will track the progress of sleep throughout the evening. Most often, the best result are achieved with the use of a home device and, fortunately, is covered under most insurance plans.

Upon confirmation of an obstructive sleep apnea condition, the physician may recommend a variety of treatment option combinations which include weight loss, cessation of all smoking, alcohol and cessation of sleep medications along with a change in sleep positions to include sleeping on the side. In addition to these, in more advanced cases of obstructive sleep apnea, the physician may recommend use of a C-PAP device to provide a continuous flow of positive airway pressure into the lungs. In rare cases, surgery to remove tonsils and extra throat tissue is recommended.

For single adults, the primary concern, with obstructive sleep apnea, is simply not knowing the condition even exists. Mistaking symptoms as general fatigue can result in a troublesome and frustrating day, decrease job performance, decrease intimacy within relationships, impair driving ability and impact health in a negative manner. If single, and suffering from the symptoms described, consult your physician regarding obstructive sleep apnea.

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